Health departments say flu cases tapering off slightly

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Has this season's flu reached its peak? Some local health departments say the intensity of new cases has tapered off somewhat, but they caution it's too early to be optimistic. (KGO-TV)

Has this season's flu reached its peak? Some local health departments say the intensity of new cases has tapered off somewhat. But they caution, it's too early to be optimistic because there could be another surge. Now is not the time for people to let their guard down.

On Thursday the Mt. Diablo Adult Education Health Fair offered medical exams and free flu vaccines to the Contra Costa County Community.

"It's been a very difficult flu season," said Vittoria Abbate, director of the College and Career and Adult Education where the fair took place.

MORE: How to tell the difference between the flu and a cold

So far, Contra Costa County has seen seven people die from the influenza virus.

The state number is 74.

Now the Contra Costa and San Francisco health departments say new cases have slightly tapered off. But that comes with a big warning. Because the flu virus is so unpredictable, there could be another surge.

" It's hard to know what the trend is until we have at least a few weeks of data," said Louise McNitt of the Contra Costa County Health Department.

She says influenza viruses are constantly changing.

MORE: What to do when you catch the flu

"Viruses that are circulating can change so right now it could be one virus that is predominant, the H3N2, that could change to a difference virus,"expressed McNitt.

Health departments are still recommending a flu shot, even this late in the year.

Washing your hands and staying home if you're sick are ways of preventing the spread of the flu.

So far the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe this flu season as "moderately severe."

Click here for more stories, videos and pictures on the flu.
Related Topics:
healthfluflu preventionflu seasonhealth careillnessConcord
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