Fresno County health officials putting emphasis on flu vaccines with recent deaths

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The flu season is hitting harder and earlier, already claiming hundreds of lives throughout the state, and several in Fresno County.

"A lot of people that usually don't get sick, they're getting sick," a Clovis resident said.

So far, Fresno County health officials say five people have died from flu-related viruses since the season started in September.

"The flu season is very unpredictable, we don't know what we're going to get hit with," said Leticia Berber with the Fresno County of Public Health.

The rampant flu season has also led to more patients rushing to the emergency room.

"The activity in our emergency department is quite high compared to last year. This is a strong flu season," Berber said.

Reports from the California Health Department state that 105 people have died since September from flu-related issues.

The year before, reports show about 75 people died. These high numbers are the reason that Fresno County health officials are pushing flu vaccines.

However, some people say they don't plan on getting one because it only makes them feel worse.

"I used to, but everytime I got the shot, I'd get sick," Jamilah Finley said.

Others, however, say it's necessary during this aggressive flu season.

"If you get the flu, the symptoms won't be as bad," a Clovis resident said. "If you have children at home, you don't want them to get sick. You're protecting your children."

Fresno County health officials say flu cases may be up, but they're also seeing an increase in people getting vaccinated as the flu season could stick around until May.
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