Monterey County

Flu Claims Lives Of Three More On Central Coast

All Under The Age Of 65

SALINAS, Calif.-- - Despite three more flu deaths in Monterey County, bringing the total to five, there is a shortage of flu vaccines at Doctors on Duty.

"We've had a good response to the point that we're out of vaccines," said Steve Standley, a 32-year veteran physician's associate at Doctors on Duty.

Doctors on Duty is out of vaccines in all eight offices on the Central Coast. Six of them are in Monterey County, two in Santa Cruz.

Standley said nearly half of the patients Doctors on Duty sees are for the flu. He said the deaths aren't the shocking part.

"We've had some deaths that they were young, healthy people with no additional medical issues and that was the surprising part," Standley said.

The Monterey County Health Department is still fully stocked with vaccines even after it ran out during a free flu clinic at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMH) last month. Hospital workers were surprised when more than a thousand people lined up around the corner.

"We've seen people come back to the emergency room because they aren't getting any better and it's been two or three months," said Jovita Dominguez, a registered nurse at SVMH.

With eight flu deaths on the Central Coast, what do you do if you already have the flu?

"Rest, drink plenty of fluids, support your body to help fight it off," Standley said.

Otherwise, Standley said, doctor prescribed anti-viral agents like Tamiflu may be your best bet.

SVMH will have another free flu clinic a week from this Saturday, Feb. 22 from 11a.m. to 2p.m. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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