LA County reports 1st flu death of 2021-22 season

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County confirmed the first flu-related death of the 2021-22 influenza season Wednesday.

According to the Department of Public Health, the patient was a "middle-aged resident with multiple underlying health conditions," who tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times while sick with the flu.

The person was not vaccinated against the flu.

"Although most people recover from influenza without complications, this death is a reminder that influenza can be a serious illness," according to a statement from the county DPH.

"Pneumonia is the most common complication of the flu. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza-associated illness.''

The county saw a dip in total numbers of flu cases last year, most likely because of measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. So far this year the numbers are currently low but have been rising in recent weeks, the county says.