Weekly report: No new flu deaths in Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — No new deaths were reported this week from "influenza-like illness" in Kern County.

The Kern County Health Services Department releases updated figures each Tuesday. Reported deaths stayed at 20, while the hospitalized total inched up to 111 from 109 a week ago.

Many of the flu deaths are from the H1N1 strain of the virus, with both young and elderly victims.

The health department is categorizing all of these reported deaths and hospitalizations under the banner "influenza-like illness," because they are suspected flu cases that have not all been confirmed.

The health department said people can still protect themselves by getting flu vaccinations. Officials also reminded people to cover their coughs, wash their hands and stay home if they are sick.

Flu shots are available at most local pharmacies on a walk-in basis. They are also offered for $9 at the health department, 1800 Mt. Vernon Ave. The clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.