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Summer flu cases higher than usual in Orange Co.

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hachiban08 View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 01 2017 at 4:52pm
The flu came early to Orange County,  California

Summer flu cases higher than usual in Orange County, vaccine now available

Flu shots are now available in Orange County, as public health officials have seen a higher than usual number of summertime flu cases, including one death.

Dr. Matt Zahn, the county Health Care Agency’s medical director for epidemiology, said Thursday, Aug. 31, that during this time of year flu cases typically range from 0 to 3 per week. But two weeks ago, there were 12 cases.

A 50-year-old man with significant underlying health conditions also died in August after contracting the flu.

“Certainly we hope that everybody realizes that now is the time to get your flu shot,” Zahn said.

Zahn said flu season lasts from October to May, so the recent cases aren’t officially a part of last season or the upcoming 2017-18 season. But better testing has revealed that the viruses linger year-round.

He said immunity from flu vaccination last year has likely worn off by now and the uptick in local flu cases has not been seen in other parts of the state.

“The number of cases we’ve seen reported now pales in comparison to the number we will see once flu season begins in earnest,” Zahn said. “On a regular week during the middle of flu season we will have over 250 reports of flu cases.”

Zahn said the last flu season was moderate, with two deaths of Orange County residents under 65. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated, ideally before the end of October.

The flu shot for the upcoming season is available at pharmacies around Orange County. Visit for locations. Patients can also check with their medical providers. Kaiser Permanente, for instance, will begin offering walk-in flu vaccinations starting Sept. 25.

Be prepared! It may be time....^_^v
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