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First Flu Death of the Season Reported in Fresno County

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Nationally, 728 adults and children have died of the flu since the virus season began on Oct. 2. (Shutterstock)
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Local public health officials remind families that anyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot.

“This tragic and untimely death serves as a reminder that we all must take preventative actions by getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and our loved ones.” — Dr. Trinidad Solis, Fresno County’s deputy health officer

The reminder follows a report Wednesday morning of Fresno County’s first influenza-associated death of a person under 65 years old this winter.

Throughout the nation, there have been 678 influenza-associated deaths of individuals between 18 and 64 years old. Fifty children under 18 have died from the flu since the influenza season started on Oct. 2., according to the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

“Influenza can cause serious symptoms, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions, older adults, and young children,” Dr. Trinidad Solis, Fresno County’s deputy health officer, said in a news release “This tragic and untimely death serves as a reminder that we all must take preventative actions by getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

Flu Most Dangerous for Children, Seniors

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Flu viruses can cause mild to severe sickness. It’s most dangerous for children under 5 — especially those younger than 2 — and for seniors. Those who are pregnant, and or have asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, are also vulnerable to flu symptoms requiring hospitalization.

Public health officials say that anyone with signs of the flu should get tested. Anti-viral medications can help, especially for those who are at high risk for severe influenza.

Influenza vaccines are available at physician offices, clinics, pharmacies, and at special flu vaccination events. Fresno County residents with insurance coverage can contact their health care provider regarding flu vaccination availability.

In addition to influenza, RSV, and COVID-19, other respiratory illnesses are heavily impacting local hospitals.

Public health officials strongly recommend that people get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19, wear a mask in crowded indoor public settings, and wash their hands frequently. Stay home if you’re sick to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

More information regarding flu vaccine locations can be found at www.outdotheflu.com. Answers to questions about seasonal influenza are available at (559) 600-3550 and this link.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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