Second flu-related death reported in the San Diego region - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Second flu-related death reported in the San Diego region

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The second person to die of influenza-related causes in the San Diego region during this flu season was a 95-year-old man with an underlying medical condition, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported Wednesday.

The man died Dec. 7, according to the HHSA. No one had died of the flu at this time last year, a season which ended up with 97 deaths related to the illness, according to health officials.

"The flu is a serious, contagious disease that can make you very ill. It can even be fatal," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "As flu season approaches, getting a flu shot is more important than ever."

Flu season generally peaks in January and February, according to the HHSA. So far this year, 180 cases of influenza have been confirmed through laboratory testing, compared to 187 last year.

The CDC recommends flu shots annually for everyone who is at least 6 months old. Vaccination is more important for people with weakened immune systems, as well as those who are pregnant, elderly or live with or care for others at high risk.

Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices and pharmacies. Those without medical insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated. A list of locations is available at www.sdiz.org or by calling 211.

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