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For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2020
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144

Influenza Activity Increases in LA County
It’s Not Too Late for Your Flu Immunization

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reminds residents it is not too late to receive influenza (flu) immunization to prevent getting the flu. Flu activity is currently elevated and is increasing throughout Los Angeles County.

“Getting immunized against flu protects both the person who receives the immunization and also reduces the chance they will become ill and spread the flu to family and friends,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “People at higher risk for complications from the flu should seek medical care as soon as they begin to feel ill for an evaluation and potential antiviral treatment, whether or not they have been immunized.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that influenza activity remains elevated and widespread. Similar to other regions of the United States, LA County is experiencing high levels of influenza activity with influenza B virus as the dominate strain at the moment. However, influenza A virus appears to be increasing.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be immunized against the flu every year. This is the best way to prevent influenza spreading among family, friends, and co- workers, who may be at high risk of flu complications. Groups of people that are at high risk include children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and pregnant women. Medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung or heart disease, diabetes and being overweight (body-mass index >40) can also increase your risk for flu complications. Prompt antiviral treatment can be given that can reduce the risk of experiencing complications and decrease the severity and duration of illness. Antiviral therapy is most effective when given early in the course of illness. So, if you develop symptoms compatible with the flu, contact your clinical provider immediately for an evaluation as quickly as possible and to get their recommendation on whether you should receive the medication.

In addition to getting a flu immunization, practicing good hygiene can help prevent getting and spreading the flu. This includes washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying home if you’re sick.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Pneumonia is the most common complication of the flu. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza- associated illness.

You can get the flu immunization from your regular health care provider or local pharmacy. Immunization is also provided at no-cost or low-cost at various locations throughout the county. For more information please visit the Public Health website at: http://bit.ly/LACflu. Residents may also call the LA County Information Line at 2-1-1.

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publicheal th.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lapu blichealth, facebook.com /lapublichealth, instagram .com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/l apublichealth.