For California, and most of the west coast, it's been a slow start to the flu season, but experts say we're not too far behind. "As far as the flu, California is at widespread flu activity," according to Butte County Public Health Education Specialist Brandy Miller. "So, we are seeing what the east coast saw several weeks ago."
But Miller says it's not just the regular flu physicians are working around the clock to cure. "We are seeing a lot of different virus's, such as the norovirus, which is often called the stomach flu. We're actually seeing influenza, colds, and other respiratory illness's circulating."
Officials from Butte County Public Health told our crews that the virus tends to come in waves, and that the flu season is just peaking in California. In addition, they've also been receiving reports of an increase in influenza like illness from hospitals, and clinics, and schools have seen a large increase in the number of absent students.
Miller told our crews it's important to wash your hands regularly, and cover your mouth, and nose if you cough or sneeze, but what's just as important is getting the flu vaccine. "At this time, vaccine is regularly available in our community. Most pharmacy's still have the vaccine available." Since the vaccine is so available to the public, the county has not scheduled another flu clinic for this year, but say the flu season can last well into May, so it's still important to get the shot.