A 27-year-old woman is one of nine people in San Diego County whose deaths are being attributed to complications of the flu this week, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said Wednesday.
According to the HHSA, the woman is the youngest flu victim to die in San Diego County this season.
She also had underlying medical issues, health officials confirmed. HHSA officials said the woman tested positive for Pandemic H1N1, the strain of influenza currently causing problems in the county.
Up until now, the youngest flu-related death reported this season was a 31-year-old man.
County public health officer Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., said these new numbers bring the total to 29 local influenza deaths to date. San Diego residents who have died from the flu this season ranged in age from 27 to 92 years old and all had underlying medical conditions.
Just as she explained last week, Wooten said this season’s flu deaths include more young and middle-aged people because “Pandemic H1N1 is the prevalent strain that is circulating.”
“Influenza activity remains elevated so people should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventive measures to avoid getting sick,” she added.
Other flu figures for the week ending on Feb. 1 include a total of 468 lab-confirmed influenza cases in the county, down from 609 the previous week. The percentage of emergency room visits for flu-like illness remains unchanged at 10 percent. There have been 3,083 total lab-confirmed influenza cases in the county to date this season, according to the HHSA.
Last flu season, 65 total deaths were reported in San Diego.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year.
The HHSA said current flu vaccines offer protection against Pandemic H1N1, Influenza A H3N2 and Influenza B strains. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop after getting vaccinated.
Those without health insurance can get a free flu shot at a county public health center. For information, visit this website, or call 211.