Health Alert: 19-year-old woman dies from flu complications in S - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Health Alert: 19-year-old woman dies from flu complications in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - Thirteen influenza-related deaths reported last week have brought the season's total to 302 in San Diego County, health officials announced Wednesday.

Among them was a 19-year-old woman from Escondido.

According to her mother, Alexa Barbin came down with a cough last Thursday after returning from a trip to San Francisco and the Bay area. She then became ill and died the next morning.

A GoFundMe page has been set up, to help with funeral services.

This has been a particularly severe flu season in the region and across the country. At this time last year, just 68 deaths were reported.

"The increased number of reported deaths is the result of the severe flu season we are having, but is also due to better surveillance methods, which allow the county to more easily identify and classify flu fatalities," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "Flu cases are still occurring throughout the region, so people should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventive measures."

There were 602 lab-confirmed cases in the county last week, down from 722 the week before. That brings this season's total to 18,779, compared to 4,751 at this time last season, according to county data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated. It's not too late to get a flu shot, according to health officials.

Vaccines are available at doctors' offices and retail pharmacies. Those without insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 211.

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