SAN DIEGO (COUNTY NEWS CENTER) - Even though we’re approaching the end of March, influenza activity in the region is still elevated and people should continue getting vaccinated, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.
Flu-related deaths went up to 319 in San Diego County after 11 more fatalities were reported last week. San Diegans who died from flu this season range in age from 1 to 101, and almost all had underlying medical conditions. Forty-one (13 percent) of the deaths were of people under 65 years old, which are the only cases public health agencies are required to report in California. The County informs the public about all flu deaths.
The number of lab-confirmed flu cases went down last week, but is still elevated compared to previous flu seasons. A total of 399 flu cases were reported compared to 685 the previous week.
Emergency department visits of patients with flu-like symptoms dropped from 4 to 3 percent last week. The peak of 13 percent was reported in late December.
“The flu is still going strong in San Diego County,” said Wilma Wooten M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Those who have not been vaccinated should get a flu shot since influenza is likely to continue for a few more weeks or longer.”
For the week ending March 24, 2018, the County Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report shows the following:
It’s Not Too Late for a Flu Shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.
Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include:
In addition to getting vaccinated, people should also do the following to avoid getting sick:
The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1 San Diego.
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