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Health

California Flu Activity Reaches Widespread Levels

The state of California is reporting that flu activity has reached widespread levels as determined by the Centers for Disease Control. Seven confirmed flu-related deaths have been reported statewide since September and 28 others are being investigated.

The California Department of Public Health said an H1N1 virus similar to the 2009 swine flu pandemic is spreading rapidly. The 2009 pandemic killed more than 600 Californians. State epidemiologist Gil Chavez said the epidemic has exceeded that of a typical year.

“Traditionally flu viruses are more deadly and severe on individuals who are older. H1N1 is one that really doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age,” Chavez said.

Two of the confirmed deaths have been otherwise healthy adults — not young children or the elderly. The state said people with symptoms like extreme fatigue, high fever and a bad, persistent cough should see a doctor. Chavez also said that it’s not too late in the flu season for anyone above 6 months of age to get vaccinated.