119 Flu Deaths Reported This Influenza Season in California, Including 60 People Under 65 Years Old

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A sign advertising flu shots is displayed at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sign advertising flu shots is displayed at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As flu illnesses began sweeping across the nation in the last few weeks, health officials maintained that this year’s influenza season would most likely be milder than last year’s — but new data show the number of deaths linked to the flu is higher than in previous years.

In the last flu season, so many people fell ill that hospitals overflowed with patients and ran out of medicines. Some experts said the nationwide death toll in the 2017-2018 season — 79,400 — was second only to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

But California officials said Friday that 119 people have died of flu this season. The roughly 60 deaths among people younger than 65 is much higher than in other years, according to state data.

Until this season, health officials did not tally flu deaths among people over 65. But during this time period in each of the last two years, 23 people under age 65 had died of the flu in the state. In 2016, the total was three.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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