1st Southern Utah flu-related death of the season reported, dozens hospitalized

Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has confirmed the first flu-related death of Southern Utah.

According to the SWUPHD, the individual who died recently was an adult under the age of 65 who was infected with influenza type A.

“We have had 36 people hospitalized from the flu this season,” reports Kassidy Peterson, SWUPHD Epidemiologist. “Their ages range from infants to the elderly. It’s not too late to get vaccinated and we urge everyone to do so, especially those whose age or health condition makes them more vulnerable.”

According to SWUPHD, type A and B influenza viruses cause epidemics almost every winter in the United States. Influenza is contagious and can spread by droplets from infected people when they talk, cough, or sneeze.

Symptoms may include rapid onset of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, and vomiting and diarrhea (although this is more common in children than adults). People at high risk of flu complications, such as young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions should consult their doctor if they are experiencing flu symptoms.

The health department said the best way to prevent seasonal influenza is to get vaccinated every year.

Flu shots are still available at your nearest SWUPHD office.

Visit swuhealth.org/flu for locations and more information.

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