SAN DIEGO (COUNTY NEWS CENTER) - Three additional flu deaths were reported in the San Diego region last week, bringing this season’s total to five, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.
A 49-year-old man died from complications from influenza A (H1N1) on Dec. 4 and a 77-year-old woman died Dec. 1 from influenza B. A delayed report was also received on an 80-year-old woman who died from influenza B on Oct. 15. All the people who have died from influenza this year had underlying medical conditions and none were known to have gotten this season’s flu shot.
Four influenza deaths had been reported at this time last season.
“Influenza deaths are very unfortunate but serve as a reminder that the flu can be deadly, especially for at-risk populations,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. The vaccine is safe and effective and can help save lives.”
Last season, 342 San Diegans died from complications from the flu, the highest total since the County began tracking flu deaths nearly 20 years ago. The majority of those who died last season were over the age of 65, had underlying medical conditions and had not been vaccinated. Two children also died from influenza last year.
The County Health and Human Services Agency publishes the weekly Influenza Watchreport, which tracks key flu indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the region. All other indicators are at expected levels for this time of year.
For the week ending Dec. 8, 2018, the Influenza Watch report shows the following:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. 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, community clinics, 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.
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