California Flu-Related Death Toll Reaches 202, Health Officials Report
On Friday, California public health officials announced that 202 residents under the age of 65 have died after contracting influenza -- more than 11 times the number of flu-related deaths reported in the state at the same time last year, the Sacramento Bee's "Healthy Choices" reports.
State officials said they are investigating an additional 41 deaths that might be related to the flu.
Details of Flu Deaths
According to the Bee, more than 66% of non-elderly state residents who have died from the flu this year were between ages 40 and 64 (Craft, "Healthy Choices," Sacramento Bee, 2/7).
James Watt, an epidemiologist at the state Department of Public Health, said that physician visits for influenza seem to have declined in recent weeks, which could signal a "downslope" (Brown, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 2/7).
First Whooping Cough Death Reported
Meanwhile, DPH announced that an infant has died after contracting whooping cough, or pertussis.
It is the state's first whooping cough death since 2010 (Perkes, Orange County Register, 2/7).
Watt noted that the death "highlights the importance of vaccination," adding that pregnant women and those spending time around infants should obtain vaccinations ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 2/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.