Two dozen people in Sacramento have died from complications after getting the flu virus. Almost 100 people in the county needed intensive care to recover after getting the flu.
These serious cases are predominantly the H1N1 strain, according to county health officials. In addition to the larger-than-normal number of deaths and serious illnesses from this year’s flu, they say this strain is affecting young and healthy people with no underlying health conditions.
“We are concerned that young and healthy individuals are not getting vaccinated, because their demographic group is not typically severely impacted by influenza. What is different with H1N1, compared to the other strains, is that we are seeing severe disease in young and healthy people,” Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer, said in a statement Wednesday.
For comparison, during the 2012-2013 flu season, there were 16 flu-related deaths in Sacramento County.
Of the 24 deaths so far in Sacramento county, five people were between the ages of 40 to 49, and 16 were between the ages of 50 and 64.
Dr. Kasirye and other health officials urge everyone age 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine; the flu season has not peaked yet.
The flu can come on suddenly, with symptoms including fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat and nasal congestion.