Flu widespread in California; 7 deaths confirmed

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Updated: 1/10 1:39 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California health officials say seven people have died from the flu so far this season, and more people are ending up in the hospital than expected.

The state Department of Public Health said Friday it is investigating an additional 28 deaths to determine if the flu is to blame.

All victims were under 65 years old. The state does not keep track of flu deaths in people older than 65.

While flu activity is up around the state, health officials said it's not an unexpected increase. Flu season typically peaks in February or March.

The dominant strain this season is the H1N1 strain, which mostly affects young and middle-aged people. In 2009, a swine flu pandemic killed at least 150,000 people worldwide.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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