Flu outbreak continues

Siemny Chhuon

SACRAMENTO - The worst of flu season may not be over yet.

Health experts advice it's not too late to get your flu shot.

Virginia Holloway is getting one for the first time in several years. She went to a flu clinic at Kaiser Permanente's Point West Medical Office near Cal Expo Monday.

"I've been hearing so many stories of how sick people have been getting and thought what if my grandkids get the flu?" Halloway explained. "So I wanted extra protection."

It's been a dangerous and deadly flu season.

Statewide, 95 people have died from the flu. Seventeen have died from the flu in Sacramento County. That's more than last season's total of 16 deaths in Sacramento County.

According to the state, 80 percent of those who died did not get a flu shot.

Julia Coukoulis also got the flu vaccine at Point West. She said she gets one every year.

"Something as simple as getting a flu shot," Julia Coukoulis said. "If that can save your life, why not?"

It's the same H1N1 (swine) strain that caused the 2009 pandemic.

"We're seeing young people with underlying conditions are being hit the hardest," Anita Gore with the California Department of Public Health said. "Chronic disease, obese, pregnant women -- H1N1 hits those groups hard."

Because this season has been so deadly, Kaiser re-opened its flu clinic to help with the demand.

"We've had quite a few first-timers," Kaiser clerk Beverly Snyder said. "People in their 20s and 30s to older people."

Sutter Medical Center has seen a 10 percent spike in people flooding their emergency rooms.

"We've had to up our game, if you will," Dr. Justin Wagner said. "We've had to become more efficient, getting patients upstairs who are admitted. We've had to become more efficient seeing patients on the front end."

The worst may not be over yet. Although flu season typically peaks in January or February, the virus can strike as late as March. And officials say it's too early to tell whether the peak has been hit.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment