WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The devastating flu season is showing no signs of slowing down across the country.

While some hospitals in Northern California have seen a peak and a beginning decline of flu cases, others are preparing for a surge.

Health departments are also trying to stay in front of the flu bug by offering free vaccination clinics.

There was a constant flow of people at West Sacramento City Hall on Friday for flu shots.

“It was horrible. It’s a horrible feeling, but I’m recuperating,” said Kenneth Chin, speaking about his flu experience last month.

He’s not taking any chances for the rest of the season.

“Knowing I’m protected until the end of the year. It’s good,” said Chin.

Two months of high flu activity has led some people to get their flu shots for the first time.

“Being a student and I work several jobs, so it helps to not get sick,” said one person.

Others are wanting to protect those most at risk, like children.

“We got her hers a few months ago and thought it would be smart if we got ours,” said Katie Rodgers, while holding her daughter.

Across the state, hospital visits related to the flu have spiked. Deaths related to the flu have nearly doubled in a week, to 74.

Deaths in the Sacramento region have remained low.

Three people have died in Sacramento County, two in Yolo County, one in Placer County, and one in El Dorado County.

But the area has seen a steady flow of flu cases with no letup in sight.

“We’ve seen increased 9-1-1 volume for the flu,” said Kristin Weivoda with Yolo County Emergency Medical Services.

In fact, area hospitals, including UC Davis Medical Center are preparing for a surge. The center has identified extra space within the hospital to house overflow patients.

In Southern California, some hospitals have already run out of room.

“We have been overwhelmed with a very large number of patients,” said an official with Loma Linda Hospital.

They’ve set up a tent in the parking lot to accommodate the dozens of flu patients they’ve seen each day in January.

Local health officials warn that high flu activity is likely to continue into February.

The Centers for Disease Control have listed the flu as “widespread” in every state except Hawaii.


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