First flu-related death in Shasta County reported

According to Shasta County Health and Human Services, state health officials are reporting 27 lab-confirmed flu deaths in 0-64 year-olds statewide so far this flu season, including one person in Shasta County.

Officials say with many parts of the country experiencing high flu activity, Shasta County Health and Human Services is urging people to take steps to keep from spreading the illness. If you begin to show signs of flu symptoms, you should contact your physician immediately to get testing and effective treatment promptly, if needed, which may include anti-influenza medications.

Flu symptoms include sudden high fever, headache, dry cough, chills and/or severe body aches and fatigue. Colds typically do not have a fever, headache or severe body aches. Colds typically do have a runny nose, sneezing, and a wet/productive cough, which are uncommon with the flu. In many cases, flu symptoms start suddenly within a few hours. There are also a number of other respiratory viruses circulating in Shasta County now that are not the flu.

Officials say in an effort to avoid overcrowding emergency departments, it's recommended patients check with their healthcare provider or an urgent care before going to the ER, and if coughing, wear a mask to the doctor's office. Officials added it is still a good time to get the flu shot. Flu vaccination for recommended for everyone six months of age or older, but particularly important for those at higher risk for severe influenza, including pregnant women, children under five years of age, the elderly, and people with certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, and heart disease.

In addition to getting vaccinated, it's important to practice other good health habits such as:

  • While sick, stay home and limit contact with others
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
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