Chula Vista Man Dies from Influenza

flu vaccine
A flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

A 74-year-old man from Chula Vista is the first influenza death reported this season, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

The Chula Vista resident died Aug. 15 from influenza B and had underlying medical conditions.

“Influenza deaths can occur at any time since influenza circulates throughout the year,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., County interim deputy public health officer. “The elderly, pregnant women and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of developing complications from influenza.”

The County monitors influenza year-round and tracks local activity during seasons that run from July 1 through June 30.

A total of 77 people died from influenza last season—which ended June 30—and 9,655 lab-confirmed cases were reported. Last season, the first flu death occurred Oct. 15, 2018 and Oct. 1, 2017 the season before that.

So far this season, a total of 106 lab-confirmed flu cases have been reported in San Diego County, compared to 26 at the same point last year and 114 the year before that.

This season’s influenza vaccine won’t be widely available locally until late September; however, some local pharmacies and clinics have the vaccine now. You can find which ones have the flu vaccine by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Vaccine Finder and calling ahead.

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other precautions people can take to avoid getting sick.

They include:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often.
  • Use hand sanitizers.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces.

“It’s important to practice good hand hygiene and stay home if you are sick to avoid infecting others,” Sidelinger said. “People should cover their mouth when coughing and sneezing to prevent the spread of germs.”

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact