Healthy Choices

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Deadly flu season winds down in California

03/21/2014 12:24 PM

03/21/2014 12:30 PM

The latest weekly report from the California Department of Public Health paints a portrait of a flu season that’s wrapping up, with a total of 342 lab-confirmed influenza deaths of Californians under 65 years old.

Influenza activity in California is decreasing, state officials said, with the number of flu-related deaths dropping in the week ending March 15 from the previous week. Outpatient visits and hospitalizations have decreased, with less than five percent of clinical specimens testing positive for influenza.

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Of the total number of flu cases, a large majority tested positive for H1N1, the same virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. This season’s flu vaccine includes components to fight the H1N1 viral strain.

In the 2013-2014 season, Sacramento County officials reported 28 people under 65 dead of the flu; El Dorado County counted two dead of influenza and Yolo County reported one dead. State and local officials do not include people over the age of 65 in the official count, which they use to predict the flu’s spread among the general population.

About This Blog

Sacramento Bee reporters Cynthia Craft and Sammy Caiola write about community health issues in the Sacramento region. Their work is in conjunction with the California Endowment, a non-profit health foundation created in 1996.

Cynthia H. Craft is The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health. She graduated from Ohio State University and previously worked at the Los Angeles Times and California Journal. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. Reach her at or 916-321-1270. Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

Sammy Caiola joined The Sacramento Bee as a health reporter in 2014. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she was a Top 10 finisher in the William Randolph Hearst College Journalism Awards. Reach her at or 916-321-1636. Twitter: @SammyCaiola.


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