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California’s First Flu Death Reported 

Date: 12/22/2011 

Number: 11-064 

Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau - (916) 440-7259 


An adult male in his late 30’s is the first reported fatality linked to influenza for this influenza season, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health and state public health officer, announced today. The man was from Kern County.

This death is a somber reminder that the flu can be a serious and even deadly disease,” Chapman said. “I encourage Californians to get their flu vaccine to help protect themselves and their families.”

The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age and includes protection against the H1N1 strain. It is particularly important for people at high risk of complications, including pregnant women, people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, children and older adults to be vaccinated. Chapman urged Californians to get their flu shot today if they have not done so already. In addition, the nasal spray flu vaccine is available for healthy individuals ages two through 49 who are not pregnant.

Statewide surveillance shows that influenza activity remains low in California. Typically, influenza peaks between January and March. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu-associated deaths nationwide range from an estimated 3,000 to 49,000 annually.

Since the flu season can last through May, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine,” Chapman said. “There is plenty of flu vaccine available.”

Get more information about flu and find a flu vaccine clinic near you.

Last modified on: 12/22/2011 3:47 PM