10 deaths have now been linked to the flu in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties this season.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department officials say we are having an unprecedented spike in the number of flu cases in the county this year.
Officials confirmed that six people all over the age of 65 have died in the last two weeks in the county as a result of the outbreak of influenza. They say by comparison, last year three people of all ages died from the flu last season in the county. Four deaths have been confirmed in Ventura County.
The number of cases has also been unusually high statewide. The primary strain of influenza which has surfaced is called H3N2, and is particularly strong, and tends to put more people in the hospital.
Officials say if you or a loved one shows symptoms you should stay home. If it becomes more severe, see you primary healthcare provider. With hospital emergency rooms being swamped, that should be a last resort for potentially life-threatening circumstances. And, they say if you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, you should get one.