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Flu season begins

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The first influenza case was recently reported in San Luis Obispo County for the 2006-07 flu season. In October, a 51-year-old county resident was diagnosed with influenza A, complicated by pneumonia. He's now recovering.

Santa Barbara County has yet to see an influenza case.

Although influenza cases have been low throughout California, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, some early increased activity has been seen and physicians urge locals to be educated on what to look out for.

Influenza, or the "common flu," can affect a person of any age, yet people 60 years or older and younger children or those with certain health conditions are at a greater risk. The symptoms may be mild to moderate, and consist of fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, and certain stomach symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. If not treated promptly, complications from the flu could result in certain ear and sinus infections, pneumonia, and dehydration.

Flu clinics providing free vaccinations are available in San Luis and Santa Barbara counties. To locate a clinic, visit www.sbcphd.org.

 

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