Riverside County reports its first flu-related death of the flu season as health officials warn of possible 'twindemic'

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Riverside County has reported its first flu-related death of this flu season.

The man in his 80's from San Jacinto Valley died last week at Riverside University Medical Center.

County health officials recommend that people get their flu shots by October, adding that protecting oneself is especially important this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"This could be one of the worst seasons we've had from a public health perspective with COVID and flu coming together. But it also could be one of the best flu seasons we've had," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Associated Press.

U.S. health officials are pushing Americans to get vaccinated against the flu in record numbers this fall, so hospitals aren't overwhelmed with a dueling "twindemic."

It's also becoming clear that wearing masks, avoiding crowds and keeping your distance are protections that are "not specific for COVID. They're going to work for any respiratory virus," Redfield said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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