Orange County's first flu death of season reported

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Amid a national surge in influenza B cases, Orange County recently saw its first death this season related to the illness in a person under age 65, county health officials announced Monday.

A Tustin man who had underlying health conditions died recently due to complications related to influenza B, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

"This is an important reminder that influenza can cause serious illness, particularly in persons with underlying health conditions," County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick said. "Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated each year."
The news came as officials nationwide and in Southern California warn they're seeing a potent B strain of the flu this year.

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Los Angeles County is experiencing high levels of flu activity with the influenza B virus as the dominant strain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been about 9.7 million flu cases across the country this season, with 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths.

The early dominance of the B-strain flu virus seems to hit children the hardest, with 32 pediatric deaths so far this season - the most this early in the season since the CDC started keeping track 16 years ago.

More information about the flu and resources in Orange County is available here.
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