SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A male toddler in Orange County has died after contracting the influenza virus.
The O.C. Health Care Agency reported Thursday that the previously-healthy toddler was the first flu-related death of the season. Lab tests confirmed he was infected with influenza A.
His name, age and the circumstances of his death were not released.
“This is an important reminder that influenza can cause serious illness, particularly in the very young,” O.C. Health Officer Dr. Eric Handler said in a statement. “Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated each year.”
The flu is a seasonal respiratory illness can be caused by influenza A or B viruses. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, headaches and chills.
Vaccinations are especially recommended for pregnant women, adults over 50 and young children, OCHCA says.
In the 2015-16 flu season, 14 deaths were reported in O.C. due to influenza for those between the ages of 18 and 64. No children under 18 died of the virus.
The county will be offering free vaccinations every Wednesday this month at the Public Health Clinic at 1725 W. 17th St. in Santa Ana. The clinic will also be offering free vaccinations every weekday in December.