Four Bay Area counties reported flu-related deaths on Wednesday, bringing the nine-county regional total to 28.
Health departments in San Mateo, San Francisco and Sonoma counties all reported one new death apiece. In the Sonoma County case, the woman was in her early 60s and had underlying medical conditions. Contra Costa County reported three new deaths on Wednesday, including a man in his 30s, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 60s.
Santa Clara County still has the highest death toll Bay Area-wide.
MORE: Flu Prevention Tips
Here is the breakdown by county:
- Santa Clara County - 6 deaths
- Alameda County - 3 deaths
- Marin County - 2 deaths
- San Mateo County - 4 deaths
- San Francisco - 2 death
- Contra Costa County - 5 deaths
- Solano County - 1 death
- Sonoma County - 4 deaths
- Napa County - 1 death
The majority of this season's deaths have been linked to swine flu, which first emerged in 2009. The H1N1 strain is known to be more dangerous to young and middle-age adults than other strains of the flu.
Health officials are urging everyone ages 6 months and older to get vaccinated. Those considered at highest risk are those 65 and older, children less than two years old, pregnant women and those with medical conditions like asthma, heart disease and weakened immune systems.
The peak of flu season is between January and March, and the vaccine takes about two weeks after inoculation to be fully effective, according to health officials.
For more information on flu prevention, click here.