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UC Davis Medical Center preparing for potential surge in flu patients

The UC Davis Medical Center is planning to open a flu treatment center on its campus in Sacramento this week in preparation for a potential surge in flu patients.

The virus has already claimed the lives of 74 Californian’s under the age of 65 this season. Doctors say it’s likely because the strain going around, Influenza A H3N2, is a particularly nasty one that causes more exacerbated symptoms.

UC Davis hospital officials are expected to provide more information on the flu center later this week.

Doctor Lena Rothstein is a pediatrician at the UC Davis Medical Center who offered advice on beating the illness.

"We always recommend getting your flu shot and always seeing your doctor if you have symptoms of the flu,” Rothstein said.

Medical experts also say to be mindful of high touch surfaces like door handles, shopping carts, and gas pumps. Those are more likely to foster the spread of infection.

A 2011 study by the University of Arizona, found bacteria known to cause infection on more than half of the shopping carts examined.

Carrying hand sanitizer and washing your hands frequently can help prevent falling ill. Rothstein said she washes her hands about once an hour when she’s not at work.

"I would also say if you're feeling sick, stay home from work,” Rothstein said.

Don’t take the risk of getting others sick, Rothstein said. If you think you may have the flu, visit your medical doctor.

If you experience flu symptoms for longer than five days or your fever worsens, you may want to consider going to the hospital.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control attribute the nation-wide spread of the virus to holiday travel.