Whether 2018 is the worst flu season since 2013 or the worst in the last 10 years, as some have reported, it has been very bad. Emergency rooms have been overcrowded and many people have suffered.

At the Riverside County Board of Supervisor’s meeting last week, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said, “It’s been a bad flu year, no question. While we’ve had worse, this has been the deadliest flu season on record since 2013.”

A dozen Riverside County residents have died from the flu. Nationwide, 37 pediatric deaths have been reported, according to Kaiser. And the effect on the over-age-65 population has been just as bad.

Kaiser said the flu vaccine is not in short supply and is effective, despite false news that it isn’t. Of the 37 pediatric deaths, 85 percent did not have the flu vaccine.

He urged residents to get the vaccine as soon as possible. “Get your flu shot; there is still time,” he urged the supervisors.