Kern Public Health is reporting that flu-related hospitalizations for the 2018-2019 flu season are now up to 27.
There has also been eight flu-related deaths this season, which has already surpassed the number of reported deaths in the past 5 years. During the 2013-14 season, there were 11 reported flu deaths.
According to the CDC , seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round, however, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. Flu activity also commonly peaks between December and February.
The CDC also reported that flu activity is remaining high across the nation and there's a second wave of severe infections striking some states.
The Kern County Public Health Services Department encourages residents to get their flu vaccine annually. The department said an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against the flu.
In addition to getting an annual flu vaccination, residents should also do the following to stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses:
- Stay home when sick
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and properly dispose of the used tissue
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth