Flu epidemic leaves death toll higher than previous years


The H1N1 virus, also known as influenza, has accounted for more than 300 deaths in California this flu season, six of which were children.
San Joaquin County accounts for seven of the deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Compared to only 106 deaths attributed to the flu in the 2012-13 season, this season has proven to be the most deadly since 2009 the year of the H1N1 pandemic, to the health department.

“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 CDPH and State Health Officer, in the news release.

To make matter worse, the people most vulnerable to catching the flu have been young children, pregnant woman, seniors and people with chronic illnesses.
Common practices to keep healthy during the flu season are washing hands, keeping minimum contact from your hands to your face and maintaining a healthy diet.

Delta College has not been immune to the recent flu epidemic that has been plaguing the community, and recently a sizable student populace has caught the flu.
Students such as Nicole Pannell have taken up measures in hopes to avoid the flu.

“I wash my hands and avoid flu-ish friends,” Pannell said. “I have been lucky enough to avoid catching the flu this year. I do not get flu shots because I do not like how they make me feel but I seem to survive the season perfectly fine.”

Other students have different views about the flu shot.

“I try my hardest every year to get my flu shot so that I will not catch the virus,” said student David Arnold, “I also have not been affected by the flu this season.”

The influenza virus is not expected to last longer then the end of spring, but students can still take precautions to avoid being a victim.
The flu shot is still available at local stores such as Walgreens for $39.99 or CVS for $31.99.