Five more people have died from complications of influenza, bringing the total deaths for this flu season to 49, according to San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).
This time last year 17 people had died from the flu in San Diego County.
The people who have died this season ranged in age from 31 to 98 years old. All except three had underlying medical conditions.
"Influenza continues to sicken people in San Diego County and unfortunately, in some cases, the disease can be deadly," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "People should continue to get vaccinated as the flu season can last through March and April."
The HHSA’s latest “Influenza Watch” report shows that total lab-confirmed influenza cases to date were 3,786 compared to the 2,840 cases last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot each year. Health officials say the vaccine is safe and effective, and takes just two weeks for immunity to develop.
The HHSA stresses the importance of getting vaccinated, especially for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include people with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control; pregnant women; people 65 years and older, and people who live with or care for others who are at higher risk.
For a list of locations visit www.sdiz.org or call 211.