H1N1 flu strain has returned with a vengeance

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

Erin Allday
SFGate.com
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When the state released its most recent report Friday on the flu situation in California, one number stood out as particularly alarming: 95 deaths. That’s the total of deaths reported to the state since the flu season started in October.

By this time last year, only nine deaths had been blamed on the flu.

But this season may not be as deadly as the report would have people believe, public health experts say. As striking as 95 deaths might seem, that number is just one piece of a larger flu puzzle that’s complicated and still largely unsolved.

“This year seems to be shaping up to be a more severe flu season, but until it’s over we’re not going to know how much more severe,” said Dr. Cora Hoover, director of communicable disease control and prevention for the San Francisco Public Health Department.

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