Parents talk about flu death

January 23, 2018

IN THE NEWS: UCI Health infectious disease expert Shruti Gohil, MD, spoke to the Orange County Register about the flu vaccination in an article about the flu complications that led to death of a local woman.

It’s an unusually vicious season – a period of time that typically peaks between December and February. Orange County has reported 3,041 flu cases so far, compared to 1,012 cases this time last year.

Seven people have died from the flu, while none had been reported by this time in 2017. Riverside and Los Angeles counties have seen triple the number of deaths year to year.

This year’s flu vaccination, based on predictions of viral mutations, has not been as effective as last year’s against the most pervasive strains of flu, said Shruti Gohil, MD, assistant professor of infectious diseases in the UC Irvine School of Medicine. Still, health experts recommend the shot.

“Even if you get the flu, your body can do a better job of fighting it if you’ve been vaccinated,” Gohil said.

But the vaccination tends to be a harder sale with young adults, Gohil said, as does going to the doctor once they are sick.

“They think of themselves as invincible,” she said.

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