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Flu Death Toll Mounts To 302 in California This Year

Update Date: Mar 03, 2014 10:20 AM EST

The total confirmed number of deaths from the flu in California rose to 302, according to a report from the states health officer. Six of the reported deaths were children. 

On Friday alone twenty-four deaths were confirmed. However it was a drop from late January and early February where on an average flu took 50 lives every week. 

According to state officials most flu victims who were reported dead were under the age of 65 with underlying health conditions. Six of the deaths were children and 19 deaths are under investigation, said officials. 

Influenza posses highest risk for death to elderly, pregnant women, infants and those with preexisting medical conditions. Officials have advised residents to see their doctor immediately if they notice any flu symptoms. 

Symptoms range from fever to cough or sore throat accompanied by headaches, muscle pain, runny or stuffy nose and fatigue. 

"By November, only a third of 18 to 64-year-olds had been vaccinated," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden in a press briefing. "That's one of the reasons we're seeing a much higher proportion of hospitalizations and deaths among 18 to 64-year-olds than we generally see."

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by CDC showed that the flu has hit harder now compared to previous seasons. This is due to fact that lesser number of people have gotten flu shots this year. 

"The influenza season continues and it's not too late for vaccination, which is still the best way to prevent illness and the spread of illness," said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, according to LATimes

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