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Flu deaths in California surpass 150 as worst season in years continues its toll

By in Press Enterprise on February 9, 2018

By Susan Abram A wave of flu has gripped Southern California as the virus is now widespread, overwhelming hospitals and urgent care centers. So far this flu season, the virus has killed 163 people under the age of 65 in California. Above, medical assistant Ingrid Rios gives a flu shot to Mario Pineda at Torrance Memorial Primary Care Center. (Photo by Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

New influenza cases are dropping across California, but deaths continue to rise in the Golden State as this season’s mighty wave of flu maintains its grip locally and on the nation, state health officials announced Friday.

Last week, 36 more people in California died of the flu, or six more than the week before. That brought the number of deaths to 163 statewide, but doesn’t include those who are 65 years old or older, according to the latest data released by the California Department of Public Health.

Still, while fewer cases were being reported in California, the overall spread of flu remained higher than in previous years. State officials continued to call the flu widespread and activity levels elevated.

While some counties were reporting less new cases, it was unclear Friday based on surveillance data if this season’s influenza has hit it’s peak in California.

RELATED STORY: Flu deaths in LA County this season have already doubled the 2016-17 total

In addition, the number of hospitalizations for pneumonia and influenza at Kaiser Permanente facilities in northern California last week was 7.6 percent compared to the week before and” is above expected levels for this time of the year.” according to health officials

Federal officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that this year’s flu season would be as bad, or nearly as bad as in 2009.

That’s because the dominant strain is Influenza A H3N2. The strain isn’t new, but when […]    

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