10 Dead, Number of New Flu Cases 'Worrisome': County Health Officials - NBC 7 San Diego

10 Dead, Number of New Flu Cases 'Worrisome': County Health Officials



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    The number of flu cases across San Diego County is higher this year than last, and the county is worried we may face an epidemic. NBC 7's Llarisa Abreu reports. (Published Friday, Dec. 22, 2017)

    Ten people have died of the flu in the county, San Diego health officials said Friday as they renewed the warning to residents to get vaccinated.

    “The flu is here and it’s hitting San Diegans very hard,” Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer said.

    The deaths included two men who were younger than 65 years old, officials said.  Both died from Influenza A. 

    Wooten said a big jump reported last week in the local medical community is worrisome.

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    Nearly 1,550 new flu cases have been reported this week. That's compared to 562 lab-confirmed cases reported last week. 

    “This is three times the number of cases that were reported last week,” Wooten said.

    A total of 3,195 flu cases have been reported so far this flu season.

    “We have not seen flu cases like this since the 2009 H1-N1 pandemic,” she added.

    Wooten wants residents to know it's not too late to get vaccinated. 

    The health officer said vaccines are essential that residents who are at high risk (people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, people 65+ and people who care for others who are high risk).

    As of this time last season, there were four deaths in the county. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.

    For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 211.