Health Officials say they're already tracking more severe cases throughout the Valley this year compared to the same time last year.
This H1N1 strain of the flu is showing up in emergency rooms across the Valley and is hurting a younger crowd. In previous years, mainly small children and the elderly contracted the flu but experts say younger adults are now getting extremely sick.
"They got so sick that they are now in the ICU being treated a lot of them do have a lot of underlying medical conditions that can lead them to have more severe issues with influenza," said David Luchini with Fresno County's Health Department.
Luchini confirmed a woman in her 40s who died tested positive for the virus. Seven people are currently in the intensive care unit. The flu has also impacted an entire floor at the Fresno County jail.
"Right now there are no visitors to those inmates. I was advised that attorneys can visit their clients at a special location on the floor but they cannot have personal visits. It will probably be through glass," said Chris Curtice.
A 61-year-old inmate who went into Community Regional Medical Center is still in serious condition. Now more than 300 others housed near him are now locked down to prevent a spread.
The H1N1 virus is also linked to the death of two Merced County residents. The same flu type also caused a number of deaths in 2009.
Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated. If you have exhibited symptoms of a high fever, a cough or a sore throat they say, stay at home and away from others.
FLU VACCINE FINDER:
FRESNO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH:
Flu Vaccination is available at the Fresno County Department of Public Health, Family Immunization Clinic.
1221 Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA 93727 From 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM / 1:00 - 4:00 PM Monday through Friday except holidays (closed for lunch 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)
MERCED CO. FLU HOTLINE:
Merced County Flu Info Line at (209) 381-1180