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Three Bay Area Flu Deaths So Far

The latest to succumb to the flu were two homeless men, both 58 years old, whose separate deaths on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13 were tied to the virus.

Bay City News Service

Bay Area public health officials said Saturday that three people have died from flu symptoms in the Bay Area this season and warned that cases of the flu are rising statewide.

The latest to succumb to the flu were two homeless men, both 58 years old, whose separate deaths on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13 were tied to the virus, said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, health officer for the Santa Clara County public health department.

The three Bay Area fatalities, which include a 98-year-old woman who also died in January, upped the flu's death toll in California to 14 since the 2012-2013 season began in November, Fenstersheib said.

In the meantime, cases of the virus this season, which normally peak in February, are still increasing, Fenstersheib said.

"The state has reported that all the trends are upward. We have not peaked in California yet, at this point," he said.

Three other people were recently treated in emergency rooms in the area for severe flu symptoms and all survived, Fenstersheib said.

The health department asked hospitals throughout the area about flu complaints and said, "everyone has seen an increase in people coming in the emergency department," Fenstersheib said.

He emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated, saying that the current vaccine, approved by the national Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, "is a good match" against this year's flu strains.

The predominant type of flu for the 2012-2013 season, which is expected to peak this month, is called Influenza A N3H2, an unusually virulent strain, according to the Atlanta-based CDC.

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Bren February 05, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Reading about these deaths makes me feel even more contempt for the anti-vaccine zealots out there who are using scare tactics to convince people not to get flu shots.
double_e February 06, 2013 at 09:27 PM
i know of 2 people here in the bay area that both died after getting the flu shot this year... both in their late 20's and healthy. Now dead! eat that Bren
Bren February 07, 2013 at 06:50 AM
Wow, you seem really angry. That's a pretty typical reaction when an anti-vaccine zealot's beliefs are challenged. Assuming that you're telling the truth, I have to ask you the following: Are you suggesting that the flu shots caused these deaths, or are you merely suggesting that the flu shots failed to prevent these deaths? If it's the former, I challenge you to provide some medical proof. It it's the latter, that is not at all noteworthy. There are a variety of flu viruses out there, and no flu shot can protect against every possible mutation or strain. The current crop of flu vaccines will protect you against at least 62% of the influenza strains out there. People who know nothing about science and medicine (in other words, anti-vaccine True Believers) will try to claim 62% represents some kind of failure. In fact, quite the opposite is true. 62% is way better than 0%. Now then, please clarify just what it is you're claiming, and please provide proof that your claims hold water.

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