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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — County health officials say at least three people have died from flu in the past two weeks in Los Angeles County.
These deaths are the first of the 2010-11 influenza season, officials said.
Health officials say they are also investigating what appeared to be a flu outbreak at a school, with more than 50 students becoming sick with flu-like symptoms. Three students eventually tested positive for flu.
The school was not identified.
An estimated 1,000 people die in the county each flu season, which lasts from fall to late spring.
“This is an unfortunate reminder that flu is a serious, potentially deadly illness that is also vaccine-preventable,” county health officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding said. “We’re approaching the time of year when we typically see peak numbers of flu cases. There is still time to get a flu shot or the flu mist nasal spray vaccine to protect yourself, your loved ones and those around you from this illness.”
Fielding said the flu can continue to circulate as late as May.
The three people who died were a 48-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman and a 4-year-old boy. County officials said the adults were both obese, which is a newly identified risk factor for complications from influenza. It was unknown of they had been vaccinated.
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