Doctors Urge Southland Residents To Get Flu Vaccines As Death Toll Rises
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Local health experts are warning residents about the severity of California’s flu season after a pregnant South Bay woman died after contracting the infectious disease.
CBS2′s Lisa Sigell reports doctors are once again urging Southland residents to get vaccinated, with the total number of flu-related deaths in L.A. County now at 52.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the current flu season has been especially hard on young adults and the middle-aged. Statistics show people ages 18-64 account for about 60% of all hospitalizations this season.
“This group, the non-elderly adult population, is the least likely population to be vaccinated every year,” CDC spokesperson Dr. Joseph Bresee said.
Another reason, the CDC says, is that H1N1 is the predominant strain this season, and it mostly affects younger people.
So far, 240 deaths have been attributed to the flu in California. Forty-one deaths were reported last week. New numbers are expected to be released on Friday.
“We’ve had a lot of cases of pneumonia in our office, complications of the flu virus,” family medicine physician Dr. Manuel Momjian said.
The CDC says the vaccine is 60% effective. The agency is urging everyone six months and older to get vaccinated.
“It’s not too late. We’re going to have significant flu at least through March and perhaps significantly later. It’s a reminder that the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against influenza,” Jonathan Fielding, Director of L.A. County Public Health, said.
Doctors say if you’re suffering from flu symptoms like high fever and body aches, see a doctor immediately.
To find flu vaccination locations within the county, call 211 or click here.