1 death amid widespread flu season in Kern County, health officials say

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FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years. An early barrage of illness in the South has begun to spread more broadly, and there’s a decent chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County health officials say the flu is widespread in the county with an increase in reported cases and one death since the end of last year.

The flu has been widespread this season with Influenza B being the predominant virus in Kern County and throughout the state.

In California, 70 deaths have been attributed to the flu since September 2019 according to state records and hospitalizations from flu-related illnesses are higher than expected.

The state report includes data through Jan. 4, 2020.

In Kern County, hospitalizations are slightly up compared to the same time last year. Officials say, in previous flu seasons, a second peak in hospitalizations happens later in flu season.

State officials say, people older than 6 months old need a flu shot. To help lower the chances of spreading the flu, wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes and stay at home when feeling ill.

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