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County sees first flu death
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The county health department recommends everyone get a flu vaccine, every year. There is still time this season to get the vaccine, as the flu season typically peaks in February and March. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Stanislaus County Health Services Agency was notified that a child has died tragically and unexpectedly because of influenza . This is the first flu-related death in the county this season.

Each year flu spreads across the country from person-to-person, among families, and communities. Flu illnesses can range from mild to severe. Flu-related issues can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. The symptoms of flu can come on suddenly, and may include:

• Fever, chills;

• Headache;

• Fatigue and/or body aches;

• Dry cough;

• Sore throat;

• Runny or stuffy nose;

•Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.

People experiencing flu-like symptoms should call their health care provider if their symptoms are serious or if there is trouble breathing, if they are pregnant, or have underlying medical conditions.

“This is a very sad reminder that flu is unpredictable and can be deadly” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the child’s family and hope we can help people understand that flu is a serious illness. Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu, and it’s still not too late to get a flu shot.”

Stanislaus County Public Health encourages residents to take the following actions to fight the flu:

• Take time to get a flu shot for yourself and your family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu shot for everyone six months of age or older. Flu shots are still available at many places, including doctors’ offices, local health department clinics, and community settings as well as most pharmacies. Check with your healthcare provider to decide which form of the shot is the best option for you.

• Take everyday actions to stop germs by:

• Avoiding close contact with sick people;

• Washing your hands often;

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;

• Cover your coughs and sneezes;

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may have germs;

• If you become sick, limit contact with others.

Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness. Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. It is very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are sick with the flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications because of their age or a high risk medical condition.

For more information about flu and flu shots, visit and, respectively. Resources for Additional Information on flu are: • Stanislaus County Public Health flu website, • California Department of Public Health flu website, • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,