Jan 18, 2013 2:25 PM by Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California health officials say flu activity is now widespread throughout the state, and one new death in people under 65 has been reported, bringing this season's death toll to five people.
Dr. James Watt, the state's communicable disease chief, says flu activity has seen a steep increase in recent weeks and is expected to peak in February.
California has had fairly mild flu seasons over the past two years, but this year is expected to be worse.
Watt says besides two flu deaths in greater Los Angeles, deaths have been reported in the Sacramento metro area, the Visalia-Porterville metro area, and the Inland Empire.
The state's reporting period covers through Jan. 12 and only includes flu death victims under age 65.
Watt urges Californians to get flu shots, wash their hands, and cover coughs.
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