The 2013-14 flu season continues to worsen. Last week, Riverside County reported two more deaths related to influenza.

A man, 63, and a girl, 9, died after being hospitalized, according to Barbara Cole, director of disease control for the Riverside County Department of Public Health. The man died last week and tested positive for the H1N1 strain, Cole said in a Riverside County Department of Public Health press release. The girl died earlier this month and the strain of influenza for her has not yet been determined.

Both had underlying health issues that may have contributed to their deaths, Cole said.

“Flu activity continues to increase statewide, including reports of hospitalizations, severe disease and the number of deaths,” Chapman said. “We are clearly in the midst of what appears to be an earlier-peaking, severe flu season, and I encourage everyone who has not yet gotten a flu vaccination to do so. The influenza vaccine remains the most effective way to protect yourself from the flu.”
For the most recent reporting period, ending Jan. 11, an additional 38 influenza related deaths were confirmed in 20 counties throughout California. That brings the total of influenza related deaths for the season to 45. This compares to five deaths at this point in 2013.

An additional 50 deaths (such as the two most recently reported in Riverside County) are under investigation by CDPH.