The Los Angeles County Health Department announced on the 15th that during the 2023-2024 flu season, the first influenza-associated death case occurred. The deceased had not received this season’s influenza vaccine.
The Los Angeles County Health Department noted that while most people recover from the flu without side effects, this death is a reminder that the flu can be a serious illness. The most common symptom of influenza is pneumonia, but it may also aggravate some existing illnesses. Examples include heart disease and asthma. Thousands of people in the United States are hospitalized every year due to illnesses caused by influenza.
Last year’s flu season, under the triple influence of influenza, RSV (respiratory syringe virus), and COVID-19, placed a huge burden on the medical system. According to the Los Angeles County Health Department, although the flu season is different every year and difficult to predict accurately, the Los Angeles County medical system is prepared. Based on available data, levels of influenza virus transmission in the community are consistent with previous years and have increased in recent weeks.
The Los Angeles County Health Department urges the public to get the latest flu vaccine for this season, which is available to everyone 6 months of age and older. Young and able-bodied people should also be vaccinated to protect the elderly, children and people with lower immunity around them. Injecting the flu vaccine can also prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed by the triple virus attack.
The symptoms of influenza, RSV and COVID-19 are very similar. People with infection symptoms need to be tested for COVID-19. Groups that are more affected by influenza should contact a doctor immediately for relevant testing and treatment once flu symptoms occur. These groups include children under five, seniors aged 65 and above and pregnant women. People with asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes and obesity (BMI greater than 40) also need to pay special attention.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4,000 to 7,000 people die from influenza and pneumonia in California each year; based on the most recent year with complete records, 4,638 people died from influenza and pneumonia in 2021.