Orange County confirms 1st flu-related death of the year

Flu vaccine is shown in this undated file photo.

Health officials have confirmed Orange County's first flu-related death this year.

The patient, a 48-year-old woman who had preexisting health conditions, was infected with the influenza A virus, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

"It is important for everyone to continue practicing good respiratory and hand hygiene to limit the transmission of influenza germs from person to person, and to get vaccinated," said Dr. Eric Handler, county health officer.

Health officials say they have seen an increase in flu cases across the county in recent weeks, with eight patients hospitalized for severe influenza.

The Health Care Agency is offering free flu vaccinations for people 6 months of age and older, who do not have a medical provider or health insurance coverage, on a walk-in basis every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Clinic located at 1725 West 17th St. in Santa Ana.

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