Two Santa Clara County residents, including a child, have died recently from the flu, county officials said Tuesday.
The child who died was previously healthy and had recently returned from overseas travel, and county public health officials believe the influenza virus was most likely contracted overseas.
The other death, an adult under the age of 65, had other medical conditions that put them at increased risk of complications from the flu. The names of the two people who died are not being released.
County public health officials do not know if either person received the flu vaccine, but said the deaths serve as a reminder of the importance of getting the flu vaccine.
The flu season in the U.S. usually starts in October each year, and last year there were eight flu-associated deaths of people under 65 years old in Santa Clara County.
Dr. Sara Cody, director of the county public health department, said in a news release that "it's too early to say what these two reported deaths may indicate about this flu season" but said "getting vaccinated is still the best protection."
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months or older, and is particularly important for pregnant women, children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and those with chronic medical conditions.
More information about the flu and how to prevent it can be found on the county's website at www.sccphd.org/flu.