Flu Epidemic Poised to Spread to California

As the influenza virus sweeps across the country before it hits California, we find an increase in requests for the flu vaccination.

POSTED: 04:00 AM PST Jan 12, 2013    UPDATED: 04:05 AM PST Jan 29, 2013 

In Santa Barbara medical experts say the influenza virus is expected to hit California after sweeping the rest of the nation. But until it's here, we found residents taking the time to prepare. Med Center of Santa Barbara has three locations in town offering the flu vaccine. On State Street, like at all its centers, requests for the flu vaccination are on the rise. Though there are doses of vaccine available now, the Med Center is expecting to exhaust its supply by the end of this week. Health experts say the virus will eventually hit the golden state which gives the public a chance to prepare Forty-seven out of the fifty states have the flu at epidemic levels, luckily California is behind the curve at this point, so we still have an opportunity to get a lot of people vaccinated before it gets here. Meanwhile if you fall victim to the upper-respiratory virus doctors say time may be the best cure. But be careful because it can take a turn for the worse. Doctors say if you get a secondary infection with a bacteria that causes pneumonia and that's what can kill people. Vons Pharmacy in Carpinteria says its flu vaccination is still available. We're told Costco and CVS pharmacies are out now, but have doses on order and those are expected to arrive early next week. On Tuesday the Santa Barbara Public Health Department is set to make a presentation to its Board of Supervisors to discuss the status of influenza in Santa Barbara and the state.