Current Flu Season Hits Ventura County, Senior Citizens Hard
It’s still not too late to get a flu vaccine!
Flu season is well underway in Ventura County and the news isn’t great. Flu was the cause of death for three people in Ventura County so far this season and 105 deaths statewide since Sept. 29. “Flu season locally is more severe than last season, and there have been several critical cases also in Ventura County,” said Dr. Stanley Frochtzwajg, CMH’s Chief Medical Officer. Statewide, hospitalizations due to flu are up, according to state officials.
Senior citizens and older folks are especially vulnerable. Of the three flu deaths reported in Ventura County as of Jan. 15, the patients were ages 55, 60 and 92. Two of the patients had influenza A and one had influenza B; two also had pre-existing conditions. Dr. Frochtzwajg said senior citizens have been hit in 60-90 percent of flu cases and people age 65+ make up the majority of the hospitalizations from flu also.
It’s still not too late to get a flu vaccine! Dr. Frochtzwajg urged those who are not vaccinated against the flu to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. You can call your primary care physician or visit one of the CMH Centers for Family Health for a vaccine.
The vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective and it’s your best defense. “If you have not gotten your flu vaccine, get it now,” said Dr. Frochtzwajg. “It’s not too late to get one until the season is over and sometimes the season doesn’t end until April or May. I’d advise people to get a flu vaccine until March at least. Flu vaccine supplies are still available.”
Telltale symptoms: If you’re feeling sick but aren’t sure if it’s a cold or the flu, look for the three telltale symptoms of flu: cough, fever and muscle aches. You might have a bad headache and a sore throat too. See your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment, especially if you have been around anyone else who had the flu.
About Tamiflu: Tamiflu is an effective prescription medication that you’ll want to take right away if you get the flu. It’s important to get diagnosed as soon as possible because the medication is most effective when taken within the first 48 hours.
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