ORANGE COUNTY - A toddler was reported to be the first flu-related death in Orange County of the season, health officials said Thursday.
The boy, who was between the ages of 1 to 3, died of complications related to influenza A, the Orange County Health Agency said.
The boy was otherwise considered healthy, according to officials.
The child's death marks the first time someone under the age of 65 has died from the virus in the county this season.
"It is a painful reminder of how serious flu infection can be," said Dr. Matt Zahn of the Orange County Health Agency.
The seasonal and contagious respiratory illness can be caused by either the influenza A or B virus. Symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue.
The toddler who died was not vaccinated against the flu virus, according to officials.
Health officials are urging Orange County residents to get vaccinated, especially children as young as six months and elderly adults as they are most vulnerable to the illness.
Vaccinations are offered every Wednesday in November and then Monday through Friday starting Dec. 1. You can get them between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and then 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Clinic, 1725 W. 17th St., in Santa Ana.
If you would like more information, including other local vaccination locations, you can go to ochealthinfo.com/flu.