LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An increase in emergency room visits for influenza has led Los Angeles Health officials to urge all residents to get vaccinated.
Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, says that the flu season doesn’t end with the holidays.
“We’re approaching the time of year when we typically see peak numbers of flu cases,” said Dr. Fielding. “The flu can circulate as late as May.”
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reported that emergency room visits for fever, cough and sore throats have been on the rise over the past several weeks and flu activity is expected to increase in coming weeks.
Officials say everyone over six months old should be vaccinated, in addition to:
— pregnant women
— children younger than five years old
— adults age 65 or older
— those with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes
— people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
— those who care for at high-risk, including health care and day care workers.
The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become effective. The flu accounts for more than 23,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Two people have already died in California.
For a list of flu vaccine clinics operated by the county, click here or call 211.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)