San Diego County health officials report eight more influenza-related deaths last week including the region's youngest victim of the flu season.
The 31-year-old man died after contracting the H1N1 strain of the flu. In total, 20 people have died from influenza in San Diego County this season.
H1N1 disproportionately affects children and young to middle-aged adults, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Officials said 55 percent of all deaths this year are considered middle-aged.
The eight people who died all had underlying health conditions.
San Diego County is seeing more ICU hospitalizations from influenza over the previous year, officials said Wednesday.
Even though the number of local flu cases has increased over the previous week, the County Public Health Officer said the trend of patients was expected to gradually lessen.
Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. said it appears the number of this season’s flu cases is plateauing.
“We’ve seen the worst already,” Wooten said.
Wooten said the best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu shot.
The current flu vaccine protects against H1N1, Influenza A, H3N2 and Influenza B.
The vaccine is well-matched for this strain of the virus, she said. “It’s imperative for everyone to get their vaccine.”
The CDC recommends an influenza vaccine for anyone 6 months or older. It takes two weeks for vaccine to become effective.