Do you remember swine flu? Swine flu remembers you. And now that we're in the depths of the bowels of the pits of flu season (bizarre weather be damned), the dreaded H1N1 virus is making a comeback. In total, nine Bay Area counties and Santa Cruz County have reported 16 flu-related deaths, with four swine flu deaths reported in the Bay Area on Monday alone. What's more, the state requires reporting of influenza deaths only in people younger than 65, meaning that more elderly people may have also died of the flu.
As opposed to other strains of influenza that typically affect the very young and the very old, H1N1 targets adults in between, and fatalities this year have included a 23-year-old in Sonoma County, an otherwise healthy 48-year-old woman in Marin County, and a 41-year-old woman in Santa Clara County. Officials reports that H1N1 may be the predominant strain this flu season, so go ahead and get that flu shot as soon as possible.
And if you'd like to relive the swine flu panic of 2009 for a little extra motivation, here's a little reminder, courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow and friends: