Southern California braces for difficult flu season as cases rise after COVID lull
By Chris Eberhart
Updated 7:35 PM ET, Fri April 12, 2020
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Photos:Here’s what a normal flu season looks like – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention uses statistics to identify the current levels of influenza activity across the U.S. in an effort to communicate recommendations for prevention and treatment during the flu season. For example: If there are five people in your household with flu-like symptoms, that’s five people who may have influenza, as identified by the CDC. A typical year sees about 3-4 million influenza cases and 2-3 million influenza-associated hospitalizations, which the CDC reports can come from one to three people.
This is a preview of a story that will appear Sunday, April 13th, 2020.
The flu season is still more than a month away, and the first cases could come from a group of people who picked up the virus at a California high school, a health official said Friday.
The outbreak will be the biggest yet in Southern California, where county health officials say they are bracing for the possibility of more cases with its long-running shelter in place orders.
For people without a confirmed case, the flu can be deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 20,000 and 50,000 S.C. residents died by age 20 related to the flu in recent years.
It’s a tough time, said Dr. Kevin Fenton, medical services chief at the county. It’s the start of the school year that’s making it harder to get tested and trace the contacts of those with flu, Fenton said.
“We’ve had to slow down our testing and contact tracing because there’s just not as much information as there was in past seasons,” Fenton said.
Officials say they were not able to make a connection to the high school in the Anaheim Hills on Saturday. The source of the