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City of LB announces two confirmed deaths related to influenza in city

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The City of Long Beach announced Monday, Feb. 11, that its health officer has confirmed the first two influenza-associated deaths in the city for the 2018-2019 flu season.

Both individuals who died had underlying health conditions, the City stated in its press release this week.

The City’s Health and Human Services Department (Health Department) is requesting that the public get vaccinated against the flu in light of the recent reports.

“Getting the flu shot is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and to protect those around us,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in the press release. “Public health is a serious matter and requires each of us to do our part.”

The City cited information from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which is reporting 119 influenza-associated deaths in the state this flu season, based on data collected from death certificates statewide.

Moreover, the City wrote that surveillance conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that the primary flu strain in most of the United States this season is influenza A (H1N1), which tends to be less severe than the influenza A (H3N2) strain that circulated during the 2017-2018 flu season.

“These deaths are a tragic reminder that flu can cause serious illness,” said Long Beach City Health Officer Anissa Davis in the release. “It’s not too late in the season to get the flu shot. Getting vaccinated is the safest and most effective way to prevent flu. The flu vaccine can prevent people from getting sick or may lessen the severity of symptoms for those who become ill.”

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone more than six months of age, especially those at greatest risk for complications and those who live with or care for the following:

• Pregnant women
• Children younger than 5
• Adults 65 years and older.
• People with weakened immune systems
• Those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or conditions affecting the nervous system
• People who are overweight or obese
• Those working or living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
• Healthcare personnel
• Childcare workers

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue, according to City health officials.

The Health Department is vaccinating residents during the flu season (Nov. 1 through April 30). For more information, the community can call (562) 570-4315 or visit longbeach.gov/flu.

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
City of LB announces two confirmed deaths related to influenza in city