BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Doctors are now urging their patients to get a flu shot more than ever. On Wednesday morning, the Fresno County Health Department reported the first death of the season caused by influenza.
The authorities identified the victim as a woman who reported underlying health problems but without disclosing their true origin. Therefore, the complications that occurred when the woman contracted influenza, added to her precarious medical condition, were the cause of death. However, this is not an excuse for other people to avoid getting their flu shots.
Last year, the situation was not brighter. Fresno County registered five deaths related to flu and eight other patients who received ICU treatment. Dee Lacy, specialist in infectious diseases at Kaiser Hospital, stated that the situation was not good at all, but at least it improved since the last two weeks.
All the hospitals in the area are treating all patients that display symptoms similar to those of the flu. For instance, 36 percent of the patients at Kaiser Hospital were tested for flu and were found positive for influenza A. This season, flu hit harder than ever and even earlier than it used to.
Dr. Lacy declared that this was the highest percentage ever registered of people having influenza since the 2009 – 2010 season marked by the H1N1 pandemic. Also, the massive spread of the disease occurred near the end of October and the beginning of November, which is really early.
How can you recognize the flu? It is an infectious respiratory disease with symptoms that include fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes coughing and sore throat. If you display any of these symptoms, confine yourself to home recovery and, if they aggravate, consult a doctor immediately.
Doctors insist that you should not go out if you think you are contagious. Moreover, your condition will not be improved if you get exposed to cold and bad weather. Also, you can get to prevent the disease by simply taking a flu shot. It is not known to have hurt anybody and it might even save your life.
Health officials recommend that everybody older than six months should get a flu shot. You can have one for only $6 at Fresno County Health Department, but you will not be refused the shot if you cannot afford it.
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