First Influenza Death in Sacramento County


Department of Health and Human Services
Sherri Z. Heller

1/3/2014 10:00 PM

Media Contact:

Laura McCasland    (916) 875-2008


Influenza has claimed the life of a Sacramento County 61-year-old woman.  This was the first influenza death for the 2013/14 flu season.  She had been hospitalized in the intensive care unit prior to her death, and died of complications.
This announcement follows a news release distributed by the Sacramento County Division of Public Health last week, reporting an increase in cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza.  Sacramento County Public Health Division has received reports of 10 cases of flu admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Three strains of influenza are currently circulating in Sacramento County - H1N1 (2009 pandemic strain), Influenza A and Influenza B. The flu vaccine, which is readily available, covers all three strains of the flu that have been detected.

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend annual influenza vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older, including pregnant women. A person’s decision to receive the vaccination or not impacts the entire community, as a yearly flu vaccine not only protects the individual from illness, but also those nearby. It’s especially important to be vaccinated if you have regular contact with people more vulnerable to the complications of flu, including babies, children with asthma, and the elderly.

The flu is a serious respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days. Influenza may cause severe illness or even death in people such as the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health conditions.

In addition to getting vaccinated, it’s crucial to practice good health habits. If you become ill, you should take actions to stop the spread of germs, including:
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands with soap/water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

People with chronic medical conditions or those experiencing worsening flu symptoms should seek medical attention.

If you need information about immunization services for children and adults, or need to refer clients or get information regarding upcoming influenza clinics, please contact the Sacramento County Immunization Assistance Program at 916-875-SHOT (7468) Monday-Friday between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm or use the Flu Vaccine Finder at or the HealthMap Flu Vaccine Finder located at