Six more flu-related deaths have been reported this season, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday, as the county works to secure financial resources for possible coronavirus cases.
The season’s total number of flu deaths has reached 63, officials confirmed. The ages of the six new flu deaths ranged from 55 to 84, and the patients all had underlying medical conditions. Comparatively by this time last year, there were 35 flu-related deaths.
The number of lab-confirmed influenza cases increased slightly after two previous weeks of decline, officials said. In the past week, there were 1,637 cases, compared to 1,520 cases the week before that.
But for the first time in several weeks, the number of people showing up at local emergency departments with influenza-like symptoms dropped from 8 to 7 percent last week, according to the HHSA.
This flu season to date, there have been 16,706 lab-confirmed cases, the HHSA said. By this time last year, there were 4,848 cases.
“Influenza activity is unpredictable, and weekly case totals could go up and down during the season,” said county public health officer Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. “It’s important that people continue getting vaccinated since influenza could last through April and even May.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year -- especially pregnant women, those with chronic medical conditions, and people aged 65 years and older.
In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC recommends people should also do the following to avoid getting sick:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Use hand sanitizers
- Stay away from sick people
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Clean commonly touched surfaces
- If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others
To receive a flu shot, click here to find a location near you.