More people have been killed this flu season in San Joaquin County that during the same period of time last year.
According to the most recent numbers released by the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health, 10 people have died of the flu this season – which officially began during the 40th week of last year – compared to only 8 through the same time period, which was measured through Feb. 5.
And this particular strain of flu, according to the numbers, has been deadly to an even wider range of people.
Last year through Feb. 5, all eight of the people who were killed by the flu were between 18 and 64 years old. This year, only two people from that age range have succumb to the effects of the illness – with seven victims being over the age of 65, and one under the age of 18.
While the majority of the cases diagnosed early on this season were of the H3N2 variety, the number of H1N1 cases – sometimes called the “swine flu” – skyrocketed in the third week of the flu season and has been dominating the majority of diagnoses ever since. For the last reporting week released, there were no cases of H3N2 reported – only the third week this flu season that has been the case. So far this year Influenza A strains appear to be beating that of Influenza B types – with seven reporting weeks dominated by Influenza B diagnoses compared to 10 weeks of Influenza A.
And while the particularly aggressive Coronavirus strain that is currently wreaking havoc across China and parts of Asia is dominating international headlines, as few as 12,000 and as many as 30,000 people have been killed by the flu in the United States already this flu season. There have been between 22 million and 31 million cases of the flu that has resulted in between 210,000 and 370,000 flu hospitalizations.
The San Joaquin County Department of Public Health Services recommends that people get vaccinated against the flu and take steps as routine handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding contact with sick people, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth while the flu season is in full swing. Health experts also encourage people to talk with their health care professionals about taking antiviral medications if they are sick and to stay home from work or school when ill to prevent illness from spreading.
For additional information, or to view San Joaquin County’s updated numbers, visit the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health Services website at www.sjcphs.org.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.