LA County reports first flu death of the winter season

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first flu-related death of the 2021-22 influenza season.

According to the department, the person who died was middle-aged and had multiple underlying medical conditions.

Health officials say the individual tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times over the course of his illness. He had not been vaccinated for the flu.

"Although most people recover from influenza without complications, this death is a reminder that influenza can be a serious illness. Pneumonia is the most common complication of the flu. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza-associated illness," read a statement from Public Health. 

Health officials say last winter circulation of the flu was suppressed by measures implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, however, they predict the flu to spread in Los Angeles County this fall and winter. 

They say indicators of influenza activity are currently low but have been slowly rising in recent weeks.

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