147 People Died From The Flu In California This Season
This flu season has been deadly: so far 147 people have died of the flu, and another 44 deaths are being investigated as being flu-related.
You may be thinking only old people die of the flu, but that number actually only includes people under 65. Public health experts told the San Francisco Chronicle that the strain going around this year—H1N1 or the "swine flu"—tends to be harder on younger and middle-aged people than other strains. Most of those people had some sort of risk factors, like pregnancy, heart disease and lung disease. And for reasons health experts can't explain, obesity also puts people at risk of getting a particularly severe case.
Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Bernardino counties have been hit hardest: 17 deaths happened in Los Angeles County, 13 in San Bernardino and 15 in Sacramento County, according to the Fresno Bee. Four confirmed deaths are children, the Los Angeles Times reports.
So far we've already surpassed last year's 106 deaths, and flu season is still in full swing. Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, told the Times, "Once again I urge all Californians to get vaccinated, because it is the best defense against influenza."