Health

No New Flu Deaths Reported, Cases Continue to Decline

flu vaccine

No additional influenza deaths were reported locally last week, and the number of flu cases continued to decline, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

A total of 114 lab-confirmed flu cases were reported last week, compared to 170 cases the week before. Sixty-seven influenza deaths have been reported this season, compared to 341 at the same time last year.

“Given the continued decline of flu cases in recent weeks, it appears that the worst of the influenza season in San Diego is over,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.

The County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) publishes the weekly Influenza Watch report, which tracks key flu indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the region.

Next week will be the last weekly Influenza Watch report HHSA will publish this season; however, a final report will be issued after the season ends June 30, 2019.

For the week ending April 27, 2019, the Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 3% of all visits (compared to 3% as the previous week).
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 114 (compared to 170 the previous week).
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 67 (compared to 341 at this time last season).
  • Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 9,287 (compared to 20,735 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; and
  • 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; and
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, community clinics, 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