Health experts urge flu vaccinations

Needed to prevent infection, spread

1218 flu season

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. - Local health officials say a 10 year old child from Murrieta became the first person to die from a flu infection in Riverside County Friday. It's one of eight deaths among children across the nation this flu season.

While there's no word on whether the child suffered from other underlying health issues putting them at greater risk, health officials are asking people to get their flu shots especially for children and the elderly.

Experts say this particular flu season has already seen a steep increase from last year in overall cases, especially in the South.

The flu is a very contagious disease that effects a person's respiratory system and can be spread when an infected person talks coughs, or sneezes.

A study also found that flu vaccines only had an effectiveness of 47 percent during the 2015-16 flu season, much of that stems from a mutation in the H3N2 strain of the flu virus.

However, experts say the flu shot is still some of the best protection a healthy person can get as it can still be effective against other strains of the flu.

Good hygiene is also urged to prevent the spread such as frequent hand washing and avoid contact with those infected. Parents are urged to keep their kids from school if they do have the flu.

The flu vaccine is available at all health clinics in riverside county as well as many doctor's offices and pharmacies.

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