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45 Californians Die Of Flu, Including 2 Babies, So Far This Season

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California health officials say 45 people have died so far this flu season, including two babies.

The California Department of Public Health said Friday it is investigating an additional 50 deaths. The state only tracks flu-related deaths among people 65 and younger.

“Last week, 38 new laboratory-confirmed influenza deaths were reported. Two of these deaths were in pediatric cases from Los Angeles and San Mateo counties,” state epidemiologist Gil Chavez said. “The total number of confirmed deaths due to influenza for the 2013-14 season now stands at 45.”

State health director Dr. Ron Chapman says the flu season appears to be peaking early and it may be a severe one.

Flu activity is already widespread in many states including California.

Health officials say there’s plenty of vaccine available and are urging immunizations for people at highest risk including the elderly, pregnant women and infants.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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