Deaths in California from influenza virus rose to 318 people under 65 years from the beginning of the year to last week, according to the California Department of Public Health. Six of these deaths were children. Another 26 deaths are still under investigation.
The 12 deaths last week were the fewest flu-related deaths since the beginning of January.
In comparison, at a similar point in 2013, the flu-related deaths totaled 43 and 106 people succumbed to influenza during the entire 2012-13 season.
Two more people in Riverside County died from the flu, bringing this season’s total to 15 deaths.
The positive news is that influenza activity in the state is decreasing, according to CDPH. Both the number of influenza-associated deaths and outpatient visits for influenza-like illness has decreased from week to week. Both have been within expected baseline levels for this time of year since week six.
Nationwide, the number of visits to health-care providers for influenza-like illness decreased again last week. Death related to influenza-like illness declined again, but still remains above the epidemic threshold, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Visits to Riverside County emergency departments for influenza-like illness fell to 8.1 percent from 10.7 percent last week. Other indicators, such as the number of students absent due to illness, are within normal historical limits and do not suggest an upsurge in flu prevalence in the county.
Of the reported influenza deaths in persons under age 65, nearly 89 percent have occurred in people with underlying medical conditions. The majority of the fatalities were adults aged 40 to 64 years.