The flu death toll in California continues to climb at an alarming rate.
Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, confirmed that 243 people in the state have died from the flu for the 2013-14 flu season.
The California Department of Public Health says 41 Californians died from the flu from last week.
The downward trend in the number of influenza cases is a good sign, but the season is far from over,” Chapman said. “Unfortunately, this influenza season is still severe and the number of influenza related deaths continues to rise. Vaccination is still the best way to prevent illness and the spread of illness.”
Last year a total of 106 deaths were reported in California in the flu season.
Out of the 7,562 specimens tested nationwide, according to the weekly flu report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, 16.8 percent were positive for influenza, down from 19.6 percent the previous week.
Arkansas, New York, Connecticut, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas reported high influenza-like illness. New Jersey, Maryland, Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Virginia reported modest influenza-like illness.
The prevailing strain this season is the H1N1 strain. The strain acutely affects young and middle-aged people.