The flu hits California hard.
The 2013/2014 flu season has hit California particularly hard. The most recent reports indicate that the flu has killed over 300 people in the state so far. Last year’s death toll from influenza in California was 106.
Officials said that the number of flu-related deaths in the state for adults ages 65 and younger increased by 24, bringing the total number of deaths to 302 according to recent estimates.
The hardest hit areas include Sacramento, with 25 deaths, San Diego, with 25 deaths, and San Bernadino, with 23 deaths.
Most of the flu-related deaths in people ages 65 and younger involved individuals with underlying medical conditions.
It is believed that one of the main reasons for this year’s increase in flu-related deaths is because of the predominant strain of flu, H1N1, or swine flu. This strain has been responsible for killing thousands of people in 2009 alone. It tends to target younger and healthier people more than other strains. Six of the 302 flu-related deaths this year were children. Some of the flu-related deaths are because people have not built up previous immunity to the strain.
Those who are most at risk include the elderly, pregnant women, infants and people with other medical conditions.
Director of the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Ron Chapman, said, “The influenza season continues and it’s not too late for the vaccination, which is still the best way to prevent illness and the spread of illness.”
Reports of flu outbreaks are generally low in other states, such as Utah, New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, Virginia, Arkansas, and Washington. Flu epidemic reports from Texas and Minnesota are average. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut and New York report very little rates of flu illness.
Physicians suggest seeking medical attention for signs of the flu, which generally include body aches, fatigue, sore throat, and a cough. Vaccines against the flu are highly recommended.