A photo of a person holding a thermometer showing a high temperature in the foreground with a sick person laying on a couch out of focus in the background.
Nationally, influenza causes tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year. (Canva Images)

Riverside County health officials Friday announced the county’s first flu-associated deaths — a 73-year-old man from mid-county and a 79-year-old woman from western Riverside County. Both had underlying health issues and died at local hospitals, health officials said.

“These tragedies remind us that influenza can be serious, especially for those who have health issues or weakened immune systems,” Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County, said in a news release. “There are simple steps that can be taken to protect ourselves. Most important of these is to get vaccinated. We recommend that everyone over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine.”

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Nationally, influenza causes tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year with more severe illness typically seen in younger children, older adults and those with certain health conditions.

In addition to getting vaccinated, health officials are urging people to continue washing their hands thoroughly and frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping children home when sick, consider masking while indoors and disinfecting high-touch surfaces to protect themselves from flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Ahead of the start of flu season, Dr. Bradley Jacoby, chief of pediatrics for the Kaiser Permanente Riverside service area, told TN News that healthcare providers were preparing for a worse than normal flu season.

TN News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet providing Riverside County with high-quality journalism free of charge. We’re able to do this because of the generous donations of supporters like you!

Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.

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