SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — One person has died and there has already been more than 176 confirmed cases of influenza in Marin County during the current outbreak of the disease, according to the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.
County health officials reported Friday that they were seeing a 27 percent increase in the number of flu cases over the same time span in 2016. Statewide there have been 27 flu deaths of patients under the age of 65.
In the county’s only death so far this year, officials said it was not known of the individual had gotten a flu shot.
“The influenza vaccination is the best way to protect your family from complications of influenza,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Health Officer. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Even if the vaccine does not prevent you from getting the flu, it will make it less likely for you to become seriously ill or require hospitalization.”
Symptoms of the flu include fever that last three or four days, severe muscle or body aches, chills, severe chest discomfort and cough, headaches and fatigue.
Marin Public Health recommends that residents who are not seriously ill stay home, drink fluids, and take medicine for fever. People should monitor their own symptoms and contact their medical provider if symptoms are getting worse.
“For children and adults with the flu, the best thing they can do is stay home and rest,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer. “If they are worried about their condition, they should call their medical provider. Going to the hospital strains emergency resources and decreases our ability to provide prompt, emergent care for those most in need.”
The flu strain A(H3N2) that is circulating in Marin is known to cause more hospitalizations and deaths. People at higher risk for complications should
contact their medical providers if they develop flu symptoms. This includes those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, children under age 2 and those over 65.