California death toll rises from flu season

By Ian O'Brien,

Flu season has been spreading throughout California, and state public health officials have reported that 147 people under the age of 65 have already died from the flu as of Jan. 25.

According to SFGate, an additional 52 deaths were reported on Friday, with an additional 44 being looked into to determine if they were flu-related.

The current count is a vast increase over last year's flue season, where only 14 people under the age of 65 were unlucky enough to die from the bug. Only 106 succumbed all of last year combined.

Four confirmed deaths were of children, according to the Los Angeles Times. 17 deaths have occurred in Los Angeles, and 13 have occurred in San Bernardino. Five each have occurred in Riverside and Orange County.

Officials said that the reason this flu season is more deadly than usual is that the primary strain of influenza going around is the infamous H1N1, commonly known as "swine flu."

This is the most serious outbreak of influenza since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, which caused California to enact a requirement that deaths for those under 65 had to be reported.

There is no shortage of vaccinations, and state officials have encouraged people with the flu to undergo immunization at their local flu vaccine locations.



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