Flu activity widespread in Calif., 5 deaths so far

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California health officials say flu activity is now widespread throughout the state, and one new death in people under 65 has been reported, bringing this season’s death toll to five people.

State communicable disease chief Dr. James Watt says flu activity has seen a steep increase in recent weeks, and is expected to peak in February. California has had fairly mild flu seasons over the past two years, and this year’s is expected to be worse.

Watt says deaths have been reported in the Sacramento metro area, the Visalia-Porterville metro area, the Inland Empire and two in greater Los Angeles.

The state’s reporting period covers through January 12, and only includes flu death victims under age 65.

Watts urges Californians to get flu shots, wash their hands, and cover coughs.

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