Flu Claims Two More Lives In Santa Clara County

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Two homeless men died recently after coming down with the flu, Santa Clara County health officials said Friday.

One died on January 11 and the other on January 13, said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, health officer for the Santa Clara County Health Department, adding the men, both 58 years old, had other health issues that were exacerbated by influenza.

“They did have some underlying medical conditions,” he said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

There have been 14 flu-related deaths in the state this year, according to state health officials, including a 98-year-old Santa Clara County woman who died in January.

Fenstersheib said he is not surprised that all three influenza fatalities in the Bay Area happened in Santa Clara County given its size and the number of vulnerable people who live there.

“We have a very large population of homeless,” he said.

Flu season still has not peaked, and health officials said the two deaths have spurred the county to step up efforts to get homeless men and women vaccinated.

“This past week we held two additional flu vaccine clinics for all homeless individuals to come in and get vaccinated,” said Dr. Sara Doorley, medical director of the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program.

Doorley said a mobile medical unit and an outreach team were also actively seeking homeless individuals who have not visited one of the standing clinics.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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