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CDC reports high flu activity throughout California

Kern County Public Health reports one flu-related death so far
Posted at 11:56 AM, Jan 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-19 14:56:01-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The common cold, cough and sniffles can be more serious than you may think. The CDC is reporting high flu activity throughout California.

Kern County Public Health has reported one flu-related death so far.

Michelle Corson, public relations officer with Kern County Public Health said the flu affects mostly children that are 6 months of age or younger because they cannot get vaccinated.

"The A-strain can not just be passed not just among humans, but animals and humans. But the B strain is only transferred between humans," Corson said.

The A-strain and B-strain viruses are two of the four classified types of flu viruses. This year, the CDC is reporting about double the amount of child deaths associated with the B-strain virus.

Steward Jenkins, an infection preventionist with Kaiser Permanente, said there are impacts of not washing your hands properly.

"When you think about bacteria and viruses, if it's on a surface they continue to multiply. If that's bacteria has been there a long time you're getting a high concentration," Jenkins said.

According to Kern County Public Health, bacteria can live on a surface for up to 24 hours. If you or your child have flu-like symptoms, a local pharmacist recommends visiting your doctor or urgent care.

"To prevent the flu is to get the flu shot, so it still isn't too late to get the flu shot -- you can go see your doctor's office -- many pharmacies also offer the flu shot, and that is really the best way," Ryan Raynes, an outpatient pharmacist with Kaiser Permanente said.