Flu death toll now stands at five in Santa Clara County

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Health officials in Santa Clara County have confirmed another flu-related death -- bringing the total to five this season. And they're warning we haven't even hit the peak yet. (KGO-TV)

Health officials in Santa Clara County have confirmed another flu-related death -- bringing the total to five this season. And they're warning we haven't even hit the peak yet.

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"If you are severely ill, (have) difficulty breathing, (or) chest pain, definitely come to the emergency department and seek care," said Dr. George Han, Santa Clara County Deputy Health Officer.

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Countywide, a total of five people under the age of 65 have died as a result of the flu this season. The first four were patients with previous medical conditions. However, the most recent death involved a patient who had otherwise been healthy.

"These viruses are getting vicious," says Joseph Sanchez, San Jose resident. "We've got to be careful."

The county's Emergency Medical Services Agency reports an increase in daily ambulance responses and medical transports.

In the past month, more than 100 patients at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center have been diagnosed with influenza. Officials say the emergency department has been slammed with patients seeking medical care due to concerns about contracting the virus.

VIDEO: Tips for preventing the flu
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It's flu season in the Bay Area and that means people are being surrounded by coughs and sniffles. So how do you prevent it from happening to you?


As local emergency rooms fill up, the practice of telemedicine has become a leading option for patients who want to see a doctor immediately.

"Rather than having to wait hours in an emergency room, you can be treated quickly in the comfort of your own home," says Dr. Ian Tong, Chief Medical Officer at Doctor On Demand, a telemedicine provider based in San Francisco. "That's extremely important for the flu because you need to get treatment in the first 48 hours."

For those who come down with a fever, medical professionals say you shouldn't return to work or school until 24 hours after your symptoms have completely resolved.

Statewide, at least 29 people under the age of 65 have died from the flu.

Click here for more stories and videos about the flu.
Related Topics:
healthfluflu seasonu.s. & worldhealth caresanta clara countyhospitalhospitalsSanta Clara
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