Health

Higher Influenza Numbers Being Reported in San Diego

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Influenza activity continues to be reported at a higher pace compared to last season, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

An additional 37 lab-confirmed flu cases were reported last week, bringing this season’s total to 258. A total of 82 flu cases had been reported at the same time last year.

“People should get vaccinated before the flu season really gets going,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The flu vaccine is safe and effective and the single most important action one can take to prevent getting the virus.”

For the week ending Oct. 14, 2017, the Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 1 percent of all visits (the same as 1 percent the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 37 (up from 16 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 1 (compared to 1 at this time 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 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