A third San Diegan has died from flu complications in a flu season moving at a faster pace than previous years, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced Wednesday.
The 85-year-old woman, who had pre-existing medical conditions, died Nov. 4; she tested positive for influenza A.
She is the third person to die as results of the flu this season.
The past week had 61 new flu cases reported, bringing the total to 445 cases. This surpassed the average 112 cases for the past three years.
"We cannot predict just how severe a flu season is going to be, but a lot more cases are being reported than in previous years," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "If you have not gotten vaccinated, do it now to avoid getting sick."
Health officials have warned of a potentially miserable flu season this year since the Southern Hemisphere was hit. In the past few months, there has been a flu strain going around Australia that's notorious for causing more severe sickness.
Health officials urge people who are at risk of developing serious complications from influenza to get vaccinated.
High-risk groups for flu complications include pregnant women, adults 65 and older, nursing homes residents and children under 2, according to the California of Public Health (CDPH) Officials.
Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to get a flu shot every year.
In an effort to stop the flu virus, health officials encourage people to use hand sanitizers, clean commonly touched surfaces, staying home when sick, washing hands, avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
The HHSA Influenza Watch reported:
- Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 1 percent of all visits (compared to 2 percent the previous week)
- Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 61 (compared to 66 the previous week)
- Total influenza deaths to date: 3 (compared to 1 at this time last season)
The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, and County public health centers. For a complete list visit this site or call 211.