ER Visits, Flu Cases on Rise in San Diego County - NBC 7 San Diego

ER Visits, Flu Cases on Rise in San Diego County



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    ALLENTOWN, PA - JANUARY 11: A patient recieves a flu shot at a mobile tent set up to handle the recent influx of flu cases by the Lehigh Valley Health Network's main hospital campus January 11, 2013 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The health department has designated influenza as widespread throughout 41 states, with more than 11,000 laboratory-confirmed cases since flu season began in mid-December. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

    Emergency Department visits are on the rise this week, as our cases of influenza in San Diego County, health officials said Wednesday.

    The percentage of hospital emergency room visits for influenza-like illnesses was 4 percent, compared to 3 percent the previous week, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

    Similarly, the number of influenza cases this week was 79, up from 45 the previous week.

    Influenza this winter is spreading and sickening San Diegans at a faster rate than last year’s flu season: there have been 263 confirmed cases to date, more than double last year’s number.

    Local health officials say it’s not too late to get vaccinated, as the flu season usually stretches into March or April.

    Health officials also have these recommendations for avoiding sickness:

    • Wash your hands often and well
    • Use hand sanitizer
    • Avoid sick people
    • Clean commonly touched surfaces
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Stay home if you are sick to prevent the spread

    For a list of places to get a flu shot, visit the San Diego Immunization Program’s website.