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Flu season flying in to Yuba-Sutter
The illness that causes high fevers, muscle aches and sore throats is experiencing a resurgence in Yuba-Sutter as reports of the flu spread rapidly across the country.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an increase in flu activity in the state after California experienced only sporadic cases in the past few months.
Compared to the rest of the country, the number of infected California residents is relatively low. However, more than 2,200 people have been hospitalized nationally and 18 children have died during the current flu season, according to the CDC.
Local health practitioners are starting to see a rise in flu-stricken patients as well.
Lou Anne Cummings, health officer at Sutter County Public Health, said she is watching for flu activity closely. However, tracking it can be a troublesome task.
"It's difficult to follow because no one reports it unless someone comes in or dies," Cummings said.
Other areas of the country have reported an early entry into the flu season. However, Cummings said flu symptoms are common around this time of year.
"The flu is very unpredictable," she said, "Flu season can start as early as October and end as late as May.
The flu mutates each season and can be fatal to infants or the elderly. Although many people are getting sick this year, the upside is that this flu season's immunization shots seem to be working better than previous seasons, she said.
But for those who missed their shots, there is always a doctor, said Dr. Roger Hicks, medical director of Harmony Health Medical Clinic.
"The important thing for people to know is that if they see influenza symptoms they should see a doctor" he said. "There is treatment available."
Olivehurst resident Ger Xiong was one of the patients at Harmony Health who received a flu shot Tuesday. She is not immunized every year, but said it's worth it when she does.
"It helps," she said. "The whole time I didn't get sick."
As of Tuesday, Xiong's two nieces were sick with the flu, which was reason enough to get a flu shot, she said.
"I'll get my flu shot today just to protect myself from my niece," she said.
CONTACT Griffin Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4783. Find him on Facebook at /ADgriffinrogers or on Twitter at @ADgriffinrogers.