Santa Rosa, CA – December 18, 2019 – The Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) recorded its first flu-related death this year in the County last week. The Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Celeste Philip urges individuals to get vaccinated against the flu this season.
“As a doctor, I have seen many families agonize over their loved ones who have suffered from serious flu complications. Every year in Sonoma County, flu leads to lost days at work and school, hospitalizations and even deaths,” said Dr. Philip. “The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. I urge everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible.”
Since the flu season started on September 29, 2019, there have been 24 flu-related deaths in California. These deaths also include three flu-related deaths in children under the age of 18. Flu activity monitored by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) show the flu season has started earlier this year when compared to recent years in the state.
Take the following simple actions to protect yourself and others during this flu season:
- Get vaccinated.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands.
- Don't share personal items like toothbrushes, beverage bottles or cups.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Protect others. If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
By protecting yourself, you are also protecting others around you from what could be a life-threatening illness. Let's all work together to make this flu season as healthy and safe as possible for everyone.