Thirty-three people have died in LA County since October due to complications caused by the flu, according to the California Department of Public Health.
The outbreak has caused a shortage in medicine at pharmacies and packed emergency rooms.
According to Pasadena Information Officer William Boyer, the city’s Public Health Department has not reported any deaths.
“The flu has hit Pasadena like every place else,” Boyer told the Pasadena Weekly.
Pasadena and Long Beach have their own health departments and numbers from those cities are not included in the county’s count.
“We are seeing a recent spike in flu cases,” said Huntington Hospital spokesperson Derek Clark. “That has added to the number of people we are seeing in our emergency room.”
Huntington physician Dr. Brandon Lew wrote on the hospital’s website that preventative measures can be taken to avoid the flu.
“The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine,” Lew wrote. “The more people who are vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu.
According to Lew, the vaccine is especially beneficial for older people, very young children, pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions or compromised health.
Lew also recommended frequent hand washing and avoiding people with the flu.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny and stuffy nose, chills and fatigue. Most people will be able to treat themselves at home, according to health officials. But people with compromised immune systems could face more complications, including pneumonia.
Last year at this time only three people died due to the Influenza outbreak. Twenty-seven of the people who have died due to the current outbreak were under 65.
According NBC Channel 4 News, a CVS Pharmacy spokesperson said increased demand for Tamiflu, the primary medicine used to fight the virus, may have led to some stores being out of stock. Other pharmacies reported that they were running low on the medicine or were out completely.
Emergency rooms in San Bernardino and Riverside counties have struggled to handle the increased workload. In some cases, paramedics have been forced to wait to unload patients, causing more problems, with medical personnel prevented from responding to incoming 911 calls.
At UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, the emergency room saw more than 200 patients on at least one day, matching previous records established during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.