California's flu season is in its early stages and state officials say it's going to be around for awhile.
Doctor James Watt is the chief of communicable disease control for the California Department of Public Health. He says flu season has not yet peaked in the state and he expects the spread of the virus to continue for the next few weeks.
"That means that there's still time for people to benefit from the flu vaccine," says Watt. "So, if there are any folks out there who have not yet had the vaccine, now would be the time to get vaccinated because this virus is going to be out there circulating for several months and there's still time to be protected."
Watt says there have been four flu-related deaths in people under age 65 reported to the state health department. He says people over age 65 and those with underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease and lung disease, are more likely to have severe illness or die if they get the flu.
The flu specimens that have been tested closely match the current vaccine strains, meaning the shot is expected to provide good protection this year. The peak flu season is typically December through February, and may continue until May.