(Victor Valley)– The County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health has confirmation of its first two flu-related deaths this influenza season. “The families have our sincerest condolences,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer. Almost every state in the US has reported widespread geographic influenza activity.
“San Bernardino County like the rest of California has seen an accelerated increase in flu activity over the past few weeks. You can help prevent further spread of the flu by getting a flu shot,” stated Dr. Ohikhuare. It’s not too late to get a flu shot because it will still provide protection this flu season, which has yet to peak in California. A seasonal flu shot is recommended every year to all persons age 6 months and older, to help protect you, your family and the community from the flu. The flu is a caused by the influenza viruses and is easily spread from one person to another. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can lead to hospitalization and even death.
A seasonal flu shot is especially recommended for these high risk groups:
- People 50 years of age and older
- People who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions (including asthmatics and diabetics)
- Pregnant women
- Home caregivers and health care workers
- Infants and children* age 6 months up to their 19th birthday
*Depending on previous vaccination history, children aged 6 months through 8 years may be required to receive two doses of influenza vaccine
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, prevent the spread of illness by following these steps:
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze. Alcohol- based hand sanitizers may be used if soap and water are not available
- Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
- Contact your medical provider for treatment options
For information about community clinic locations and times, please visit the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health website at www.sbcounty.gov/dph, or call the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to find a location near you.