Influenza is spreading and sickening locals at a faster clip than last year’s flu season, the deadliest in San Diego County, health officials say.
To date, 141 cases have been lab-confirmed, which is 86 more than this time last year, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).
In 2013, 70 people died from flu complications – the highest number ever recorded by the county.
While no deaths have been reported this year, 3 percent of emergency room visits were for influenza-like symptoms last week, compared to 2 percent the week before.
Deadly complications from the flu are most likely to develop in people 65 years and older, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, the HHSA says.
That’s why they recommend everyone 6 months old and over get an annual flu shot to prevent the disease.
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.