Health

Flu Activity Intensifying in San Diego

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Flu activity in the San Diego region continues to intensify, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

A total of 182 cases were reported last week, 78 more than the previous week.

To date, 859 lab-confirmed cases have been reported in the region this season, compared to 242 at the same time last year.

“Flu activity in San Diego and across the country continues to be elevated for this time of year,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Get vaccinated now to protect yourself and your family, especially with the holidays coming up.”

For the week ending Dec. 2, 2017, the Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 2 percent of all visits (compared to 3 the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 182 (compared to 107 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 4 (compared to 3 at this time last season)

It’s Not Too Late for a Flu Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.

Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include:

  • People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk

In addition to getting vaccinated, 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

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.

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