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Three flu-related deaths reported in San Joaquin County in last week

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Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:07 pm

In the past week, three additional people under the age of 65 have died of the flu in San Joaquin County, bringing the season’s total to four fatalities.

In the same time period — which ended Saturday — there have been 45 flu-related deaths throughout California; 11 of those were in neighboring Sacramento County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were no deaths associated with the flu reported in San Joaquin County last season.

All of those who died this year in San Joaquin County have had underlying medical conditions, according to the information released Tuesday by the county Public Health Services Department.

On Thursday, county officials reported an additional seven people with the flu had been admitted to Intensive Care Units in hospitals across the county in the previous week.

To date, there have been 18 flu cases classified as severe. It is unclear if the four deaths were among this group.

The flu season began Sept. 29.

We are only part way through the flu season, with the number of cases usually going up in January and February and then starting to taper off in the following months, according to PHS spokeswoman Krista Dommer.

Health officials continue to encourage residents to get a flu shot, as the predominant strain in all of these cases matches one of the strains administered in the vaccination. It takes about two weeks for full immunity to take effect.

County officials encourage everyone to prevent the spread germs by washing their hands more often and avoiding touching their noses and mouths. If you have a cough, cough into your elbow instead of your hands.

If you do get sick, stay home until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours.

CDC recommends you seek medical attention if:

  • You are breathing fast or have trouble catching your breath.
  • Your skin turns a bluish color (especially in children).
  • You lack an appetite.
  • You have a fever with a rash.
  • You are not drinking enough fluids.
  • You have flu-like symptoms that improve, then return with fever and a worse cough.
  • Children are not waking up or interacting, or are so irritable they do not want to be touched or held.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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