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Child Dies In California From Flu As Cases Of Influenza Spike

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“If you compare this time last year we’re seeing twice as many flu cases,” says Dr. Michael Neely, interim chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Times: First Child Death From Flu Reported This Season In California As Cases Rise Sharply
Thousands of Californians have been showing up at doctors’ offices and hospitals sick with the flu this month, in what officials say could be a much more severe flu season than the last. “If you compare this time last year we’re seeing twice as many flu cases,” said Dr. Michael Neely, interim chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “If it keeps going up at this rate and stays up then we will see a lot more cases this year.” (Karlamangla, 1/20)

San Francisco Chronicle: State’s Flu Season Taking Toll; Twice As Many Outbreaks As Normal
This flu season is shaping up to be among the worst in a decade, with more people infected far earlier than usual and more of them ending up hospitalized, state public health workers said Friday. California has recorded 14 flu-related deaths in people under age 65 — a marker for the severity of a flu season — including the death of a Santa Clara County resident announced Friday. That’s about normal for this date, officials said. But other markers of severity are much higher than usual, the state said. Hospitalization rates for flu-related causes are at their highest level in more than a decade, excluding the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 that caused extremely widespread illness. (Allday, 1/20)

San Jose Mercury News: Santa Clara County Reports First Flu-Related Death Of Season
As California public health officials on Friday announced that flu activity around the state is now more severe than last year, Santa Clara County reported its first flu death in a person under 65 — and Riverside County reported the state’s first flu death in a child under 18. (Seipel, 1/20)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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