Salt Lake Co. Health Department reports first flu death of season

Posted at 11:02 AM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 13:02:15-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department has reported the county’s first influenza death of the 2015-16 season.

According to a news release from the department, the deceased was over the age of 65 and had not received the seasonal flu vaccine.

“This is a tragic reminder that influenza is a serious disease—but one that is largely preventable,” said Ilene Risk, epidemiology bureau manager for SLCoHD, in a statement sent to FOX 13. “Everyone over the age of six months old should get a flu shot every year to prevent illness and to avoid making others ill.”

In Utah, flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May, the news release said.

A “high dose” flu vaccine is available for seniors, whose immune systems are less robust than those of younger people, the news release said.

In addition to getting vaccinated, the department also urges people to be diligent about washing hands correctly and staying home from work or school if they are sick.