The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department confirmed Monday that a 56-year-old woman died of complications related to type B influenza infection.
This is the first reportable death associated with influenza in San Luis Obispo County this season, according to a news release.
This patient, whose identity was not released, had at least one underlying risk factor that predisposed her to severe complications, according to the release.
Healthcare providers are required to report cases of the flu in patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit or deaths associated with the flu among people less than 65 years of age.
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Health officials have said the 2017-18 flu season has brought more cases of flu and more severe illness, earlier than usual.
“The impact of flu is very serious this year, across the nation and here in SLO County,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, county health officer.
This means local emergency medical services — including emergency rooms and ambulances — have been stretched to near capacity over the past week. Health officials are continuing to urge otherwise healthy people with routine cases of flu to rest and recover at home so that emergency services are available for people with life-threatening complications.
In Santa Barbara County, six people have died in the past two weeks, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. All of them were over the age of 65.