The total number of flu-related deaths in San Diego County has jumped to 19 total deaths, a higher number of deaths than this same time last year, health officials said.
Eleven people died from influenza last week, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said. Their ages range from 68 to 95 years old and all of them had underlying medical conditions.
This time last year, the county had 17 reported deaths. During the 2013-2014 season, 70 San Diegans died from influenza-related deaths.
70 San Diegans died from flu-related deaths last season, the most deaths since County Health and Human Services officials began tracking the disease. During the 2012 to 2013 season, 65 deaths were reported.
Health officials said 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.
This year's vaccine is not a good match for one of the strains, officials have said, but it is well-matched for other strains. Partial protection provided by the vaccine helps prevent the severity of symptoms.
Nationwide, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has described this flu season as an “epidemic.”