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2 O.C. deaths reported so far this flu season

January 11, 2013 |  3:11 pm

Flu shot
Public health officials in Orange County said that at least two people have died so far this flu season and are advising everyone -- particularly those at a higher risk -- to be vaccinated.

A 51-year-old man from Fountain Valley and a 55-year-old man from La Habra both died of influenza during the last week of December, said Deanne Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Care Agency.

She said there are potentially other flu-related deaths that have not been reported. In California, she said, flu deaths for those 65 and older are not reported.

Flu season extends from early November through early April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thompson said that in the previous flu season one person died in Orange County.

Although flu shots are advised for everyone, Thompson said vaccination is even more important for certain groups who are at a higher risk: children younger than 5, especially those under 2; pregnant women; people who are 65 and older; people who are morbidly obese; and people with chronic diseases.

Healthcare workers are also at an elevated risk because they are more likely to be exposed to those who have the flu.


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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: A 17-month-old girl gets a flu shot. Credit: Associated Press