|

First flu-related death of season confirmed in LA County

In this file photo, a patient receives a flu shot at a Walgreens pharmacy in Concord, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The first flu-related death of the season has been reported to health officials.

The woman, an elderly resident in the Pomona Valley, had underlying medical conditions, according to a statement released Monday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Flu activity in L.A. County has shown an increase within the last few weeks and could continue to increase as the season continues, according to county health officials.

"Even though we are well within flu season it’s not too late to get your flu vaccination," Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim health officer for the county, said in the statement.

The current vaccine can help to protect against a number of strains being passed around this year, including A H3N2, A H1N1 and influenza B, which sickened the elderly woman who died, according to the county.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that on average in the United States there are anywhere from 3,000 to about 49,000 flu-related deaths each year.