California Flu Fatalities Approach 100


The death toll for Californians under the age of 65 that have succumbed to the flu this season has climbed to 97. This number was reported by the Department of Public Health on Friday and is rather grim when compared to numbers in previous years.

Experts on the matter say that some people do in fact have a degree of immunity to the H3 strain of influenza that is attacking the country but this strain of the virus can be a particularly difficult one to beat.

Health officials are still advising people to get the flu shot and say that it is not too late to benefit from the protection despite the advanced stage of this year’s flu season. Many individuals have complained however that they have contracted the flu this season despite receiving the immunization.

Dr. Christian Sandrock, an expert on infectious disease working at UC Davis, says that researchers are starting to understand why some people are infected with the influenza virus despite receiving a flu shot.

Sandrock explains that the World Health Organization is responsible for choosing the strains of influenza to include in the vaccine each year in the spring. He says that the choices that were made were the correct choices but the vaccine is made and then allowed to grow on eggs. During this growth period, the vaccine mutated.

Sandrock explains that the mutation does not completely disqualify the vaccine from being effective at deterring the influenza virus and should be coupled with effective hygienic practices such as the frequent washing of hands and covering mouths when coughing. Sandrock also instructs individuals that have contracted the virus to stay home for at least two full days after all symptoms are gone.

Public health officials for the State of California are reporting fatalities by region for the first time this flu season. The southern region of the state was highest in reported deaths from the flu this season at 32 with the Bay are region coming in second at 20. The Central Valley region of the state was the highest in the rate of fatalities with 4.2 deaths for every million residents of the region.

The flu has not yet assaulted the Sacramento area to the extent that it has the Southern California and Bay area regions but the northern region has still experienced a fatality rate of 3.4 deaths per million in population.