Death Toll From Flu Season Nears 100 in California

Health officials reported 23 more flu-related deaths in California on Friday, bringing the flu season's death toll in the state close to 100.

In its weekly report, the California Department of Public Health said 23 people under 65 died from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20. That makes a total of 97 deaths in the age group since October, according to state data.

Officials reported 32 deaths the previous week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said flu activity continued to spread in every state except Hawaii. At least 37 children have died of the disease across the U.S. since the flu season started, according to the agency.

The CDC estimated 6.6 percent of patients visiting doctors in the U.S. now have flu symptoms. About 42 out of 100,000 people have been hospitalized due to the flu, health officials reported.

"Hopefully we're in the peak currently, since the data is a week behind, or that it peaks soon," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.

She encouraged people to take precautions.

"It's still not too late to get vaccinated, as we're starting to see some increase in Influenza A H1N1 and Influenza B activity," Nordlund said.