Influenza, commonly called the “flu,” is a
contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms can include
fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. Flu season
in Los Angeles County is typically considered the first week of October through the end of March. However, flu circulates throughout the year so it is prudent to be aware of its signs and symptoms to mitigate further illness. Depending on the season, age, and prior health conditions flu can be serious and/or life-threatening. Nationally, flu
can cause between 9-35 million cases and on average 200,000
hospitalizations each year. The CDC estimates that anywhere from 5-20% of the population can get the flu each year. In Los
Angeles County with more than 10 million residents, that means anywhere from a half a million to 2 million cases of flu can happen each season.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as
vaccine is available each fall. Since the virus changes each year it is
necessary to receive a new influenza vaccine each year.
Health Officer Order Information
In 2013 Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, who was the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Health Officer, issued a health officer order that was designed to protect health care personnel from influenza and lower the risk of the transmission of influenza to patients. This order remains in effect for the duration of the current influenza season and all future seasons, unless rescinded.
Los Angeles County influenza surveillance information is summarized
during flu season and released to the public through our free weekly emailed
Influenza Watch report:. To receive this report, email
ACDC2@ph.lacounty.gov or register
News, Updates, and Resources: 2017-2018