Katie Oxley Thomas, 40, died 48 hours after contracting the flu  A mother of three marathon runners died of flu 48 hours after becoming ill.
Katie Oxley Thomas, 40, of San Jose, California, was a yoga enthusiast and runner before dying earlier this month.
Her family told ABC 7 that they took her to the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital and her condition decreased so quickly that she was transferred to intensive care, artificial life was placed on her and she died that same day, all in the hospital. 15 hours.
According to Adrienne and Walt Oxley, Thomas' parents, she had fallen ill 48 hours before her death. The family said they believe Thomas had been vaccinated against the flu before getting sick.
She is one of 42 people under the age of 65 who die in California because hospitals in the state are as crowded with patients suffering from the flu as the giant camp. as tents are being installed in parking lots.
The Loma Linda University Medical Center in San Bernardino County and the Palomar Escondido Medical Center in northern San Diego County are just two hospitals in the state that convert their emergency parking lots into improvised treatment areas.
"There's a small feeling of being in the trenches," said Michelle Gunnett, a hospital system nurse from Southern California, to the Los Angeles Times.
& # 39; We're really fighting against these infections to try to control them. We're still not sure if this will continue … but it's certainly an unpropitious start. "
A Redlands resident described the chaos in his area's emergency room as a" flu war zone. "
Loma Linda University Medical Center in San Bernardino County and Palomar Medical Center Hidden in the north of San Diego County are just two of the hospitals that have installed tents. In the picture you see Torrey Jewett (left) as he looks at his roommate Donnie Cárdenas (right) who is recovering from the flu at Palomar Medical Center
& # 39; I am not a germaphobe or anything, But that will quickly make you, Candysse Miller, who took his 88-year-old father to treatment, he said.
CDC ADVICE TO COMBAT INFLUENZA
Get a flu vaccine
- The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza virus
- Everyone six months and older should be vaccinated against the flu every year before the end of October
- Vaccination of high-risk people (pregnant women, young children, people over 65) is especially important to reduce their risk of severe flu illness
Taking daily measures to stop the spread of germs
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- CDC recommends staying home for 24 hours if you have flu symptoms
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
Take antiviral drugs prescribed by a doctor
- If you get the flu, you can use antiviral drugs to treat the disease
- Antiviral drugs They are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medications (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available without a prescription
- Drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick
- Take the prescription for the entire period according to indications by a doctor
In the last weeks, thousands have sought treatment in hospitals in California.
This season's flu outbreak, which began in October and usually lasts until May, has been particularly devastating.
Health authorities reported more than 40 deaths in people under the age of 65 in California, compared to nine deaths reported at this time last year.
To combat the influx of patients, staff is installing "emergency tents", giant brown tents that are normally used for major disasters. The beds are separated by sheets hanging from the ceilings in order to provide some kind of privacy.
Connie Cunningham, executive director of emergency services at Loma Linda, said she expected tents to be ready for only a few days, but staff members still treat 60 more patients per day than usual.
& # 39; In my career, I "have never seen anything like this," he said.
Other hospitals in California have sent nurses from out of state and are sending ambulances as they continue to deal with the outbreak.
Some facilities, such as Palomar, are canceling scheduled surgeries to release staff, while many others are treating people in the corridors.
The Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose was forced to clean a storage area to make room for the increase they saw in the patients.
Loma Linda University Medical Center said that nurses are treating 60 more patients per day than usual. Pictured is nurse Reggie Withers (right) serving flu patient Louise Dominguez, 84, (center) while her son Al Dominguez (left) sits near the emergency room at Torrance Memorial Medical Center on January 11. of 2018
"It's all creative things we would not normally do, but in a crisis like this, we're seeing," Gunnett told the Los Angeles Times.
The massive outbreak of flu not only affects hospitals throughout California. Pharmacies are running out of Tamiflu and other medications used to treat the virus.
Nihar Mandavia, a pharmacist who owns Druggist Pharmacy in Laguna Niguel told Daily Mail Online that his pharmacy has been selling an average of 30 Tamiflu per day.
& # 39; Usually, during the flu season we sell maybe one per day & # 39; said. He said.
& # 39; Already spent eight in the last three hours we were open & # 39; he added. "I spent my Sunday night looking for Tamiflu to sell wholesale."
To try to prevent the virus from spreading, some hospitals in California and throughout the US UU They have implemented age restrictions limiting when teens and young children can visit sick relatives.
The flu season officially begins in October, but this year's particularly dangerous strain, H3N2, has arrived relatively early and the season has not peaked.
"Tends to cause more deaths and more hospitalizations than the other strains," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim health officer for Los Angeles County.
The same strain was mainly responsible for causing the disease of more than 1,000 people in Australia.
H3N2 has also been responsible for some of the worst flu seasons in the US UU In recent years, including the fights of 2006-2007, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.
Health officials said the flu had killed more than 40 people under the age of 65 in California. In the photo, one of the tents at Palomar Medical Center Escondido
Last year, nine people died of flu at this time. In the image are emergency department technician Kyle Heaston (left) and nurse Alexis Lalande (right) working in a tent set up outside Palomar Medical Center Escondido
To combat the virus, the CDC recommends three Main antivirals: oseltamivir (sold under the brand name Tamiflu,) zanamivir (Relenza) and peramivir, all of which, according to the CDC, contain a strain of H3N2 that should be effective against this year's version.
The nasal spray, however, is not considered to be a preventive measure that is worthwhile against this flu.
Health officials also recommend that people cover their coughs and sneezes, wash their hands, get tested before and stay home if they get sick.
California is one of the 49 states that reported regional or widespread influenza activity, excluding Delaware. There have been 70 deaths in the USA. UU., According to a CDC report earlier this month.