Flu-Related Deaths Reported in San Diego County

There were only three deaths in the state this time previous year.

Among all visits to doctors and other health care providers in the last week of December, almost 6 percent were patients seeking care for flu symptoms, according to the most recent state influenza report.

Pharmacies have also sold out of the medication prescribed by doctors to treat the flu due to increased demand.

Flu is widespread in 46 states, including California, according to the latest reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 70 deaths across the U.S., according to a CDC report from last week.

Vocational nurse Ilda Villahermosa, right, rubs Melanie Valdez's arm where she had recieved a flu vaccine shot at the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City hospital on December 28. Tips for preventing the flu Flu-related visits to the doctor's office and hospitalizations have surpassed some of the most severe flu seasons on record, they say.

We already mentioned the early outbreak. 'I spent my Sunday night looking for Tamiflu for wholesale'. One was a pediatric patient, although the state didn't list the exact age. Last year, there were a total of 210 through March. Emergency rooms in Chicago dealing with the flu have led to a backup in admission of ambulance patients, forcing ambulances to hold patients longer.

Bill Christian, a spokesman for the Department of Health, says their department learned of the woman's death Monday.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

"Patients may receive prescriptions for oseltamivir or zanamivir antiviral drugs".

The flu season has arrived and it appears to be a killer this year.

"It started early and it shows up relatively fast", said Richards.

"That strain of flu tends to change more rapidly than other strains, from the time we know it's circulating to the time the vaccine is made", says Dr. Sharon Welbel, of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

"What we've seen with strains in the southern hemisphere is that the vaccine is not as effective", said Dr. Shannon Waters, Island Health, Medical Health Officer.

The potential for lower vaccine effectiveness makes it even more important that Canadians take "other measures" to protect themselves against the flu, she said, including handwashing, coughing into your sleeve, disposing of used tissues, and staying home when you're sick.

"If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, it's a great time to get it".

Of those, the CDC estimates that as many as 56,000 have died from the viral infection in a given recent year.

But the rapid spike in cases, combined with the fact that the dominant flu strain in circulation is known to be a nasty one, has some experts concerned that this season could keep getting worse. In 26 of those states, including California, flu activity has been classified as "high". Experts say this year's may only be up to 30 percent effective, but some protection is better than nothing. "However, it is not unusual for spot shortages to occur when flu activity is high", CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund wrote in an email.

Flu season in the US typically starts in October and ends in May, peaking from December to February.

  • Eleanor Harrison