Health

Flu Sickening More San Diegans

As expected for this time of the year, more San Diegans are getting sick from the flu.

A total of 144 lab-confirmed cases of influenza were reported during the week ending Jan. 16, the County Health and Human Services Agency reported today. 

This is a 37 percent increase from the week before that when 105 cases were reported.

“We’re seeing the type of flu activity that is expected for this time of the year, and this season’s vaccine is well matched for the circulating virus,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “While the overall number of influenza cases continues to be lower compared to last year, people should still get vaccinated since the flu season typically lasts through the end of March and early April.”

For the week ending Jan.16, 2016, the Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 5 percent of all visits (same as the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 144 (up from 105 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 3 (compared to 17 last season)
  • Total lab-confirmed influenza cases to date: 548 (compared to 2,463 last season)

Your Best Shot Against the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes about 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 your symptoms are under control
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk

Other Tips to Stay Healthy

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 Community Health Center or 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