SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

California's confirmed flu deaths reach 243

The California Department of Public Health announced on Friday that the number of influenza-related deaths during the 2013-2014 season has increased by 41 to a total of 243.


An additional 41 deaths are under investigation, and not yet confirmed to be related to the flu.


CDPH said that this time last year it had received 26 flu-related fatalities, and a total of 106 deaths were reported.


CDPH Director Ron Chapman said the majority of influenza deaths in persons over the age of 65 had other medical conditions. Four of the 243 deaths were pediatric patients.


The number of weekly deaths appears to be decreasing, and both outpatient visits and hospitalizations have decreased.


"The downward trend in the number of influenza cases is a good sign, but the season is far from over," Chapman said. "Unfortunately, this influenza season is still severe and the number of influenza related deaths continues to rise. Vaccination is still the best way to prevent illness and the spread of illness."


Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.