Across the state, 302 people under 65 years old have died from influenza, the California Department of Public Health reported Friday. That is 10 times the number of deaths at this time last year.
San Diego has seen 25 of those deaths – the second highest in the state, behind Los Angeles’ 44 fatalities.
Nineteen other deaths are still under investigation, though doctors suspect they are influenza-related.
The CDPH said the great majority of reported flu deaths were in people with underlying medical conditions, and six were pediatric.
By this time in 2013, 34 flu fatalities had been reported, leading to a total of 106 deaths for the entire 2012-13 season.
Despite the increase in deaths this year, outpatient hospital visits have actually decreased, and both outpatient visits and hospitalizations were within expectations for this time of year, the CDPH reported.
“The influenza season continues and it’s not too late for vaccination, which is still the best way to prevent illness and the spread of illness,” said Dr. Chapman, director of the CDPH, in a release.
The flu season typically ends in April.
Here in San Diego, county health officials said the most prevalent strain of influenza is H1N1, which disproportionately affects children to middle-aged adults. Those who have died in the county range in age from 26 to 100 years old.