SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- The Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced Friday the county's first flu death of the 2016-17 season and is encouraging residents to get a flu vaccine if they have not already received one.
The person who died was under 65 but county health officials are not releasing any other details due to medical privacy regulations.
The department has received eight other reports of severe flu cases in the county recently. The department only receives reports of flu cases when they result in deaths or intensive care visits for patients under 65 years old.
County health officials said the flu this year is more severe than in recent flu seasons. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu viruses are most common between December and March.
Public health officials recommend the flu vaccine for everyone six months or older and say those with the highest risk of complications include the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma or heart disease.
Flu deaths have also been reported locally this month in Solano, Napa and Monterey counties.
People can find locations for where to get the flu vaccine by visiting vaccinefinder.org.
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