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At Least 3 Died From Flu in LA County in 2011 So Far

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Data for the first few days of 2011 released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health today reveals that at least three people have died in the past two weeks from the flu. "In an average flu season, which lasts from fall to late spring, flu claims an estimated 1,000 deaths in LA County."

The LA County DPH elaborates on the three known deaths:

The three individuals who died were a 48-year-old man, a 29- year-old woman, and a four-year-old boy. The adults were both obese, which is a newly-described risk factor for complications from influenza. All died from a vaccine- preventable strain of the flu. It was not immediately known whether any of them had received a flu vaccination.

Experts recommend people practice "healthy habits" in order to avoid the flu, which include frequent hand-washing; avoiding touching your nose, eyes, and mouth; and staying home from work or school if you are sick. The Public Health Immunization Program has information about low-cost flu vaccines on their website.