A deadly flu season has hit hard in the Golden State.

More patients are being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, some stores have had spot shortages of flu medications, and there have been 27 flu-related deaths reported among patients younger than 65, according to the California Department of Public Health.

«Usually, at this time of year, we have reported in the neighborhood of three or four deaths in people under age 65,» Dr. James Watt, chief of the Division of Communicable Disease Control at the state Department of Public Health, said Tuesday.
«It’s possible that we’re seeing higher numbers of deaths now because the season started earlier, and we will be tracking this closely, to see whether the number of deaths reported continues to be elevated,» he said. Also, «hospitalizations and the outpatient visits, those are two things that we monitor closely to determine the severity of flu season. … Both of those measures are above what we usually see for this time of year.»

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