VIDEO: Flu virus ‘exploding’ in South Bay; here’s what you need to know

 

SAN JOSE (KRON) — If you have a high fever, if your muscles hurt, if your bones hurt, then you probably have the flu.

That’s the word from health officials in the South Bay who are sounding the alarm as another person has died after contracting the flu.

Of the seven flu-related deaths reported so far in the greater Bay Area, five of them have happened in Santa Clara County.

Health officials announced outside the emergency room on Wednesday that the flu is exploding in what is likely to be one of the worst flu seasons in many years.

In the past 10 days, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of people with flu-like symptoms seeking care at emergency rooms, like the one at Valley Medical Center.

The county EMS is reporting a sharp increase in the number of calls for an ambulance and transport to one of those emergency rooms.

The flu is more severe this year and it is spreading fast. There are five new outbreaks, bringing to 13 the number of outbreaks of at least two or more diagnosed cases, most at long-term care facilities in the county.

In an effort curb the spread of the flu, Valley Med has joined several other area hospitals in restricting and screening visitors, many of whom are wearing masks to guard against being exposed or possibly exposing others.

Details about the latest flu-related death were announced by Assistant County Health Officer Dr. George Han.

“This person did not receive the flu vaccine similar to the other four who have died so far this flu season,” Santa Clara County Health Department Dr. George Han said. “In addition, this person did not have any underlying health problems while the other four people who passed away did have some other health problems.”

“We would like to emphasize that it’s not too late to get a flu shot and to wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs, and stay home if they’re sick,” Dr. Han said.

The county is reporting a 25 percent increase in the number of people who are going to the emergency room. That can mean a long wait.

Also, the health department says there is plenty of vaccines available.

But the sooner you get vaccinated, the better because it can take about two weeks for it to be effective.

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