A Santa Barbara woman in her 20s has died from complications of influenza, according to Santa Barbara County public health officials.
The woman, who died last week, did not receive an influenza vaccine this season, health officials added. She is the first influenza death reported in the county this season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should be immunized.
Influenza viruses are spread when a person who has influenza coughs, sneezes or touches a surface handled by others. The flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people, health officials say.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized, which includes 20,000 children under the age of 5 each year for the flu.