Flu season hits hard in California with 16 deaths thus far

Data pix.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The flu season is back in force across California.

Officials with the California Department of Public Health say flu activity in the state is widespread and higher than expected at this time of year.

Regions of California hit hardest by influenza activity. (Map created by the California Department of Public Health)

The influenza B virus has been making its way around the state, with other strains also present around California. This is the most activity commercial and clinical labs have seen since the swine flu outbreak in 2009.

State officials say there have been 16 flu-related deaths since the end of September and five outbreaks.

A map provided by the CDPH shows flu activity is especially high in the northern and central parts of the state. But according to the CDC, flu activity is up across the country.

Anyone in high-risk groups is urged to see a doctor if they have flu-like symptoms, including coughing, a runny nose, aches and a fever.

State health officials say now is the time to get vaccinated and urges everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot.

 

Ashley Zavala filed this report.

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