Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flu claiming lives in Michigan and California

The flu outbreak has become more serious since I posted Flu season arrives.  It's so bad that I included the following in the tip jar (mandatory first comment) to tonight's  Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Polar Vortex) on Daily Kos.
With flu season ramping up, it's time to re-institute a feature not seen since the H1N1 outbreak during 2009-2010, the flu quarantine section in the tip jar.
I have a feeling I'll be doing this for the next three months.  At least it makes it easier to repost the material here.

Speaking of convenience, I was able to pair up one video from a local TV station with a story from KPBS.  It's downright uncanny.  I begin with a pair of stories about the general situation.  First, WOOD-TV: Doctors worry about 2014 Flu Strain.

Next, Capital Public Radio via KPBS: California Flu Activity Reaches Widespread Levels By Max Pringle, Capital Public Radio on Friday, January 10, 2014.
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.
Follow over the jump for a pair of stories about flu fatalities and another pair about the need for vaccinations.

WXYZ: 2 flu-related deaths in Washtenaw County

KPBS: San Diego Flu Season records First Death
By City News Service
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The first person to die from influenza in the San Diego region during this "flu season" was a 51-year-old man who suffered from an existing medical condition, the county's Health and Human Services Agency reported Wednesday.

The unidentified man, who died last Thursday, tested positive for Influenza A, according to the HHSA.

"While influenza deaths are very unfortunate, they are not uncommon," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Influenza can be a serious and deadly disease. That is why it is strongly recommended that people get the vaccine."

The agency said 65 people died in San Diego County during last year's flu season.
WNWO: Health officials urge flu shots

KPBS: Health Officials Urge Flu Shot As H1N1 Rises In San Diego County
By Susan Murphy
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Influenza is on the rise across San Diego County and health officials are urging people, especially young adults, to get vaccinated.

More than 80 percent of reported flu cases have been H1N1— the same strain that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009.

So far this season, 357 flu cases have been reported in the county, with nearly half documented in the last reporting period on Dec. 28, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
I plan on calling my doctor for a flu vaccination on Monday.

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