The current flu season is hitting early and hard. California hospitals are inundated with patients exhibiting influenza symptoms. According to the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency, four people from the County have died from influenza-related illness Since October 1, 2017. Statewide more than 27 individuals under age 65 have died from the flu. That's about eight times higher than what officials usually see this time of year.
Dr. James Watt of the California Department of Public health says the Influenza A, H3N2, virus has been the most common strain circulating this year, and in general it is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations in individuals age 65 and older and in young children than other types of influenza viruses.
Young children and those over age 60 who get the flu are at risk of developing secondary illnesses like pneumonia but health officials want everyone to get their shots. According to health officials, this year’s flu vaccine is not as effective as in the past, however the vaccine will make the symptoms milder and speed up recovery time.
Officials are also asking people who are only moderately ill to avoid the hospital and instead, stay home, rest and drink fluids.