Flu Widespread in California; 7 Deaths Confirmed - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Flu Widespread in California; 7 Deaths Confirmed

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California health officials say seven people have died from the flu so far this season, and more people are ending up in the hospital than expected.
 
The state Department of Public Health said Friday it is investigating an additional 28 deaths to determine if the flu is to blame. 
 
All victims were under 65 years old. The state does not keep track of flu deaths in people older than 65.
 
While flu activity is up around the state, health officials said it's not an unexpected increase. Flu season typically peaks in February or March. 
 
The dominant strain this season is the H1N1 strain, which mostly affects young and middle-aged people. In 2009, a swine flu pandemic killed at least 150,000 people worldwide. 

Just recently, Nevada health officials announced three flu-related deaths in the southern part of the state. (AP)

From Immunize Nevada:

With 25 states reporting widespread levels of influenza activity in the US including Nevada, Washoe County residents are seeking options to get an annual flu vaccine. Immunize Nevada, Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows and Washoe County Health District are partnering to offer a community flu clinic on Tuesday, January 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, 2680 East 9th Street in Reno. Flu vaccines (both mist and shots) are available on a first come, first serve basis. A $20 donation is requested to cover the cost of the vaccine, however no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. No identification is required for a vaccine, however those with insurance should bring a copy of their cards.

"The influenza cases we're seeing in Nevada and across the country are very serious," said Heidi Parker, Immunize Nevada Executive Director. "The single best way to protect yourself from getting the flu this year is by getting a flu vaccine. It's not too late."

The CDC has already received several reports of severe flu illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus. Since the start of the season, 2009 H1N1 viruses have been the most common. Some hospitalizations and deaths have been reported.

"All flu vaccines this season are designed to protect against H1N1," adds Parker. "While it is not possible to predict which influenza viruses will predominate this influenza season, if H1N1 virus continues to circulate widely, illness that affects young and middle-aged adults may occur this season."

In addition to the clinic next Tuesday, there are still several options for those still seeking a vaccine. Many healthcare providers, including the Washoe County Health District and local pharmacies still have flu vaccine available. More information, including the "Flu Vaccine Map Finder" is available at www.influencenevada.org/healthcare-providers

From Immunize Nevada

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