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California Flu Epidemic Kills 15 in First Week of 2018

California Flu Epidemic Kills 15 in First Week of 2018

California reported deaths from the flu epidemic jumped by 50 percent from 10 for the last week of 2017 to 15 for the first week of 2018.

The California Department of Public Health reported that for the first 13 weeks of the 2017-2018 influenza season ending Jan. 6, total epidemic deaths for people younger than age 65 spiked from 27 to 42.

California provides weekly public health epidemic tracking through 68 enrolled “Sentinel Providers” (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) located in all 58 California counties.

Of the 8,432 cases tested in the flu year’s 13th week ending Jan. 6, there were 3,269, or 38.8 percent, that were tested positive for influenza.

Despite vaccination being a third as effective compared to prior years and it is taking two weeks before it is effective, the California Department of Public Health website states it is “not too late to get a vaccination.”

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