SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Four more deaths from influenza were reported in San Diego County Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Agency.
Combined with two prior fatalities, the total in the region during the flu season now stands at six. County health officials have warned that current flu strains cause severe symptoms, and they urge residents to get vaccinated.
"The best protection against the flu is to be vaccinated. It is not too late to do it," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.
"There is available vaccine for those who want to be immunized."
The vaccine is well-matched to the viruses that are circulating around San Diego, Wooten said.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months old and up get a flu vaccine every year, especially for those at higher risk of developing serious complications, including people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women and seniors.
The county has tallied 670 reported influenza cases during flu season, with nearly half occurring last week, according to the HHSA. The week before, 143 cases were reported.
The agency also reported that the number of patients seeking help at hospital emergency rooms for flu-like symptoms has jumped.
"Emergency departments should only be used by people who are severely ill," Wooten said. "People should go to an emergency department if they are having difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, or have flu-like symptoms that improve but then become worse."
According to the HHSA, residents can also try to avoid the flu by washing hands thoroughly and often; using hand sanitizers; staying away from sick people; avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth; and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
People who get sick should stay home from work or school, rest, drink plenty of fluids and avoid contact with others, according to the agency.
A citywide wellness program is in the works to offer San Diegans free health-related classes. Dozens of workshops will be held each year at libraries and recreation centers, according to the City of San Diego.
The weather often plays a role in health trends, and our current hot, humid conditions are no exception. The nurse practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic said some of the most common issues are nothing more than skin deep.
A person who spent time at the USA Hostel in downtown San Diego has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported Tuesday.
Summer camps are getting underway and many of them require a sports physical. If you are having trouble booking time with your regular physician, the nurse practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic can help.
A tuberculosis case was reported at UC San Diego, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.
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