The Bay Area is grappling with what’s being called the one of the worst flu seasons in a decade.
Local hospitals, including Seton Medical Center, are prepared for an influx of patients since they have already experienced a nearly 10 percent uptick in flu cases compared to last year.
“This time, we’re seeing a lot of patients under the age of 65 being affected by it - so a lot of 40 and 50 year olds are coming in, a lot of 20 and 30 year olds,” said Mark Brown, the chief nursing officer at Daly City-based Seton Medical Center. “It’s very unsual … and they’re being admitted into the hospital with it. It’s a strain that’s hitting all populations right now.”
The surge in cases is a combination of respiratory complaints and flu illnesses, Brown said. So hospital officials are making sure they’re staffed correctly, even bringing in more travel nurses to help out.
More than two dozen flu-related deaths have been reported in California so far. Of them, five are local.
To protect yourself from falling sick, Brown suggested getting the flu vaccine, avoiding handshakes and hugs, washing hands, drinking plenty of fluids, and staying home from school or work if you are ill.