Seven more flu deaths have been reported in San Diego County this past week as flu activity in the region slows down, health officials said Wednesday.
The total number of flu deaths this season has reached 79, compared to 60 the same time last year.
“It appears that influenza activity is winding down in the region,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, in a statement. “However, influenza is still present in the community and can cause illness throughout the year, so people should continue taking preventive measures to avoid getting sick.”
The HHSA’s latest “Influenza Watch” report, from the week ending on March 25, says two percent of all emergency department visits in San Diego were patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.
There were 130 lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the week, down from the 207 the week prior.
To date, there have been 5,084 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in San Diego. Last year at this time, there were 5,672.
Wooten said for those with underlying health conditions, influenza can be deadly. This is why health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine, as it is considered the best protection against the illness.
Health officials recommend an annual flu shot; after the vaccination, it takes two weeks for immunity to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The vaccination is especially recommended for those at high-risk of experiencing complications with the flu, including people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and people age 65 and older.
Flu season in the U.S. occurs between December and May.
For a list of county public health centers where you can get a flu shot, click here or call 211.