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CALIFORNIA EXPERIENCING INCREASED INFLUENZA ACTIVITY 

Date: 2/15/2011 

Number: 11-011 

Contact: Al Lundeen (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports overall influenza activity is on the increase and cases are now present in both Southern California and Northern California. 

“Flu has the potential to cause serious illness and even death,” said CDPH Director Dr. Mark Horton. “But there is something people can do about it. I urge all Californians to get a flu shot and take other preventive measures to reduce exposure to influenza.”

This year CDPH is recommending flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. Vaccine is plentiful and available throughout the state.

To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, Californians should:
• Stay home when sick. Limiting contact limits the spread of disease.
• Cover your cough or sneeze. By using your elbow or a tissue and properly disposing of the used tissue, a person reduces the spread of disease.
• Wash hands thoroughly. Using soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth, limits disease.
• Stay healthy. Everyone benefits from eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, not smoking, and getting adequate rest and exercise.

Flu activity levels are within the expected range for this time of the year. Current flu activity in California is “regional,” which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having “outbreaks of influenza or increases in influenza-like illness and recent laboratory confirmed influenza in at least two but less than half the regions of the state.” Flu activity typically increases the first three months of each year. Every year, more than 225,000 people are hospitalized and more than 35,000 die in the United States due to the flu and its complications.

Click here to watch State Epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez discussing current flu activity.

 
 
Last modified on: 2/17/2011 8:49 AM