Fires, floods, and the flu: Can Santa Barbara catch a break??

There have been six influenza deaths in the past two weeks

As if the weather wasn't bad enough, it seems like the germs are coming for us, too.

According to a statement released Monday by the Public Health Department, there have been six influenza deaths in Santa Barbara County in just two weeks.

This year's most predominant strain, H3N2, also known as 'Aussie Flu,' is one of the most deadly and severe of flu strains, resulting in more hospitalizations than any other strain.

The strain has also become increasingly more common not just in the Santa Barbara area, but also across the state, with 27 deaths reported state wide.

The best way to avoid getting sick is to consistently wash your hands and to use antibacterial soap to prevent the spread of germs. If you do get sick, avoid contact with others in order to prevent the flu from spreading.

Public officials are encouraging people to get their flu vaccine, especially individuals in groups who are most likely to be affected: seniors sixty-five and older, pregnant women, children under the age of five, and individuals with pre existing health conditions.

Although the stress of being a college student is surely enough to wreck havoc on your immune system, so stay safe and healthy, Gauchos.

UC Santa Barbara