Flu Cases Higher Than Expected in San Diego


The number of lab-confirmed, influenza cases continues to be elevated for this time of year, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

A total of 1,092 cases have been reported this season, more than three times the 304 cases reported at the same time last year.

“It’s important that people get vaccinated to avoid getting sick, especially those at higher risk of developing complications from the disease,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Everyone, six months and older should get a flu shot every year.”

For the week ending Dec. 9, 2017, the Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 4 percent of all visits (compared to 2 percent the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 232 (compared to 183 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 vaccinated. 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 or call 2-1-1.

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