Stanislaus County health officials said a 28-year-old man died from influenza Thursday in a case calling attention to the severity of the flu season.
According to a Friday news release, the man suffered from multiple chronic medical disorders. The county Health Services Agency said it was the first influenza death this year. Officials did not say where the man died or release his name or city of residence.
Federal and state health officials have warned that this year's flu season is more severe than normal. The seasonal flu is a serious disease that can result in hospitalization and death; older people and those who are chronically ill can be especially vulnerable.
"We are still early in the flu season," said Dr. John Walker, county public health officer. Walker said it's not too late for people to protect themselves with a flu shot. The season is expected to last until April.
Flu vaccinations are recommended for people 6 months or older and are available from private physicians, health clinics and pharmacies.
Those not covered by private insurance can be vaccinated at the county immunization clinic, 820 Scenic Drive in Modesto. The vaccinations are covered by Medi-Cal, Health Plan of San Joaquin managed care, the Health Net Medi-Cal plan, Medicare and the county indigent adult health program.
The vaccine guards against three flu strains that are spreading.