California flu-related death toll at 278

Feb. 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM
| License Photo

SACRAMENTO, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Confirmed flu-related deaths in California rose by 35 this week for a total of 278 deaths this flu season, state health officials said.

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer, said six of the 278 were pediatric deaths. There are an additional 29 deaths under investigation, but not yet confirmed, he said.

The deaths were highest in Fresno, 21; San Diego, 23; Sacramento, 25; and Los Angeles, 36.

In all of the 2012/2013 season, a total of 106 deaths were reported.

The great majority of reported influenza deaths in persons age 65 and younger have occurred in people with underlying medical conditions. Both outpatient visits and hospitalizations continue to decrease. The influenza season status remains widespread.

"Even a single death from the flu is a tragedy," Chapman said in a statement. "The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Device shown to 'smell' prostate cancer in men in trial
Scientists confirm second, more intense form of Lyme disease
Study: Sending fewer men to prison may slow spread of HIV
Einstein vindicated: Scientists find gravitational waves
Biden gathers forces to end cancer: Can he make a difference?