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State health official declares the flu ‘widespread’ in California
Sacramento Bee

California’s public health director declared Friday that the flu has gained ground throughout the state and is now considered widespread. Seven influenza deaths have been reported statewide – with five occurring in Sacramento County this week alone.

It was unclear why Sacramento County appeared to be bearing an outsized burden of flu deaths, or if the numbers signaled a significant trend or a statistical quirk.

Another 28 deaths throughout California are being investigated, said state Public Health Director Dr. Ron Chapman. “Influenza activity in California is beginning to show a steady increase and is now considered to be widespread,” Chapman said. “Currently, there are more hospitalizations at this point than expected, based on historical trends.”