California strongly infected by nasty flu

Flu season is back, and it’s not kidding around this year.

Health officials said the flu is a prevalent force throughout the state and has already killed five, with the most recent account of flu-related death being someone under 65. A 98-year-old Santa Clara woman was reported yesterday as being killed by the virus.

This gnarly bug isn’t done yet, either. It is expected to be doing it worst in February.

Emergency room physician Dr. Kadeer Halimi told CBS-SF that Bay Area hospitals have become increasingly swamped with patients with the flu:

We’ve definitely seen a heavier volume increase of flu related illnesses compared to last couple of years. Especially last week, we’ve had a significant rise in young kids as well as patients from nursing homes.

Considering the damage it is doing, health officials advise that all persons more than 6 months of age be vaccinated.

As always, those at a higher risk of infection should make it a priority to be vaccinated.

That includes those with chronic conditions like diabetes, children younger than five, persons 65 or older, people living in nursing homes, those who care for others at high-risk including day care workers or those who work with the elderly and people who are pregnant.

Shots should be administered at the earliest possible time as it takes two weeks for it to work.

To find a location administering vaccines, consult Health Map Vaccine Finder. Due to the ever-changing availability of vaccines and schedules, it is advised that those intending to get a shot call in advance.