SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) received the first report of a death caused by flu this season, according to a press release from the department. The person who died was an adult under the age of 65 who was unvaccinated and had preexisting conditions, according to the department.
The report was received by the department on Wednesday.
According to the SFDHP, this is likely to be the first active flu season since before the COVID-19 pandemic began, almost three years ago. It has also gotten underway earlier than previous flu seasons.
“It is not too late to get your annual flu vaccine,” the release states. “It is the single best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu; preventing illness, serve illness and hospitalization.”
As of Dec. 2, there have been at least 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations, and 4,500 deaths from the flu nationally this season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate.
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“Those who are highest risk of severe illness or hospitalization include young children, older adults, pregnant people, people who smoke, or anyone with chronic conditions,” the SFDPH said.
With winter approaching and people letting their guard down regarding the pandemic, there are fears that this season could be particularly harsh in terms of flu and COVID creating a kind of double pandemic. In San Francisco this week, the popular Zuni Cafe announced it would be closing for the weekend due to a COVID outbreak among staff.