Officials: Third woman dies from flu complications in Brevard County

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

A 63-year-old Brevard County woman who had been on life support since December has died from flu complications, according to health officials.

She is the third person to die from flu-related illnesses this season in Brevard County. Two other women, one in her 20s and a second in her 30s, have died from flu complications since the beginning of the year.

Brevard County resident Susan Peretti said she was vaccinated early.

"I didn't for many years, but I'm getting older so I thought it was worth it to be healthy," Peretti said.

The Department of Health in Brevard County has been targeting high-risk patients, like pregnant women. Department Director Dr. Heidar Heshmati said about a third of the country's maternity patients pass through the Health Department.

"You have to be immunized against flu," Heshmati said.

Heshmati said it's not too late to get the flu vaccine, and they're relatively inexpensive. But when WFTV's Melonie Holt called area pharmacies, about half of them had the vaccine in stock.

Health officials said most of the reported cases of influenza are the H1N1 variety, which is covered by current vaccines. They urge those who have not received a vaccine to do so.