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First Flu Death Reported in Santa Barbara County

The first death in Santa Barbara County related to the flu this season, has been reported to the Public Health Department. Director Dr. Takashi Wada says the victim was an 80-year-old woman.The elderly and those with heart and lung issues are considered high risk.An update on flu issues was presented to Santa Barbara County Supervisors this morning. “The East Coast and the South have been hit very hard,” said Wada. He also said locally, vaccines are widely available, but the demand has soared in the last week. Some locations have run out in between deliveries.Wada says the flu shot takes about two weeks to have an impact in the human body, and it will cover the major strains of influenza going around this year, but not all of them.In the last week, reported cases of the flu have gone up 10 percent. “Probably because public schools have gone into session and children are a big transmitter of influenza and infectious diseases,” said Wada.As for precautions, “stay home if you are sick, and have good hygiene,” Wada recommended to county leaders.

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