A fourth 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.
A 92-year-old woman died Nov. 11 and tested positive for influenza A. She is the fourth person to die as a result of the flu this season.
Last week, 133 new flu cases were reported, bringing the total to 574 cases. This surpassed the 174 cases reported the same time a year ago.
“The number of flu deaths and cases being reported this year continues to outpace the totals from the last season,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The flu can be deadly, especially for vulnerable populations. The best protection against the flu is getting vaccinated.”
Health officials urge people who are at risk of developing serious complications from influenza to get vaccinated.
High-risk groups for flu complications include people with asthma, diabetes and lung disease, pregnant women, adults 65 and older and people living with or caring for others who are at higher risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).
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, wash their hands, stay away from sick people and stay home when sick. They also encourage people to clean commonly touched surfaces and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
The Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Influenza Watch reported:
• Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 1 percent of all visits (the same as the previous week)
• Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 133 (compared to 58 the previous week)
• Total influenza deaths to date: 4 (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.