1st flu-related death reported in El Dorado County in 3 years
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Public Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency has received a report of a death of a resident in November that was caused by seasonal influenza.
“This flu-related fatality is a painful reminder that COVID-19 is not the only illness threatening the most vulnerable among us,” said El Dorado County Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams. “Besides COVID-19, cases of other respiratory illnesses are occurring in much greater numbers this fall than we’ve seen in several years. Continued vigilance to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses in our communities remains important for everyone.”
According to Williams, this most recent flu-related fatality is the first to occur among an El Dorado County resident in nearly three years. The last flu-related death of an El Dorado County resident was reported in February 2020.
“Precautions taken during the pandemic to prevent transmission of COVID, like masking and staying away from other people when ill, worked well at reducing the incidence of respiratory illnesses, including flu, respiratory syncytial virus, and the common cold,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, relaxing our precautions has resulted in those illnesses spreading more freely again. We are hearing reports of many people missing school and work this fall.”
El Dorado County’s Immunization Coordinator Carole Hodge-Little added, “We recommend that everyone be vaccinated against the flu annually. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet this fall, now is a great time to do that, along with keeping up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations.”
Public Health nurses are offering free walk-in Flu/COVID vaccination clinics in various communities throughout El Dorado County and on set days at its offices in Placerville and South Lake Tahoe.
The flu and COVID vaccines are available at the walk-in clinics, which are open to the public. December vaccination clinic calendars can be found online at https://www.edcgov.us/government/publichealth/immunizations/pages/flu_clinics.aspx
For more information, call 530-573-3155 in South Lake Tahoe.
Williams stated that people at risk for complications from the flu, and their close contacts, are especially encouraged to be vaccinated. Risk factors for complications include being under age 5 or over age 65, being pregnant, having chronic health conditions (like asthma and other lung diseases, diabetes, neurological disorders, and heart disease), or being morbidly obese.
Healthcare workers and people who live or work with at-risk persons should also be immunized. Individuals must be at least six months of age to receive the influenza vaccine. Primary-series COVID-19 vaccine is available for ages six months and older. Booster doses are available starting at the age of 5 years.
“In addition to being vaccinated, everyone can prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses by keeping hands washed, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when sick, and covering your coughs,” Williams said.
Testing and treatment for COVID-19 are both available at the LHI OptumServe test sites in Placerville and South Lake Tahoe (by appointment or drop-in).
More information can be found online at https://covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com/.
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