LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Flu deaths in California have increased by 50, bringing the total to 95 for the season so far, the state Department of Public Health announced Friday.

Three of the 95 deaths were children and an additional 51 deaths were under investigation, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of CDPH, said.

Health officials have recorded 29 deaths in six Southern California counties.

The total number of deaths reported for the entire 2012-2013 influenza season was 106.

“The increasing number of influenza related deaths points to the severity of this flu season,” said Dr. Chapman. “Vaccination is so important, because it continues to be the best defense against the flu.”

The CDPH recommends all residents, ages six months and older, get the seasonal flu shot or nasal vaccine in additions to basic hygiene, such as hand washing, to prevent the spread of the virus.

Those at highest risk – the elderly, pregnant women, infants, or those with other health conditions – who show flu symptoms should contact their physician immediately in order to get the most effective treatment.

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.


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