Tulare County Public Health has received reports that two Tulare County women have died from influenza-related infection: one from influenza A and the other from influenza B. Flu numbers have increased in the county over the last month, and because the flu can have serious, life-threatening effects, including death, everyone should protect themselves and others from the contraction and spread of the virus by getting vaccinated.
“It is with great regret that I am informing the community of these deaths from influenza,” stated Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County Health Officer. “Unfortunately, we are reminded that the effects from this illness can be very serious. Public health is our first priority, and I strongly encourage community members to get vaccinated and help prevent the spread of the flu.”
To prevent contraction or spread of the flu:
Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, muscle aches, sore throat, chills, and a headache. If you have symptoms of influenza, contact your health care provider promptly to find out if antiviral treatment is needed.
Seek emergency medical care when you see signs of serious illness. Below are some of the signs of to watch for:
Individuals with flu symptoms, particularly those with risk factors such as pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, and children age five and younger, should talk to their health care providers about antiviral medication.
Vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of six months, and the vaccination is available at physicians’ offices and local clinics, at many local pharmacies, and through the Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) immunization program. HHSA immunization program staff can be reached at (559) 685-5725. At this time, the vaccine is widely available in the community. Additional information can be found at www.flu.gov.
It is especially important for high-risk groups to be vaccinated. These groups include:
For the HHSA monthly flu clinic schedule, please check www.tchhsa.org/immunize/. Residents with questions should contact their health care provider.