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By Jose A. Alvarez
County of San Diego Communications Office 

Flu deaths, cases up in San Diego County


Last updated 3/11/2019 at 7:50pm

Seven more influenza deaths were reported locally last week, and cases also set a new high for the season, signs that influenza is still widespread in the region, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced.

The new flu deaths bring this season’s total to 42. The ages of the seven people who died from the flu ranged from 53 to 90 years of age. All had underlying medical conditions. A total of 281 flu deaths had been reported at the same time last year.

“Influenza can be deadly, especially for those with existing illnesses,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said.

A total of 545 lab-confirmed flu cases were reported last week, 10 more than the week before. Also, the percentage of people who went to local emergency departments with influenza-like illness also increased to 6 percent last week.

“Influenza is still widespread in the region and continues to sicken San Diegans,” Wooten said.

The county Health and Human Services Agency publishes the weekly Influenza Watch report, which tracks key flu indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the region. All other indicators are at expected levels for this time of year.

For the week ending Feb. 23, the Influenza Watch report showed that emergency department visits for influenza-like illness were 6 percent of all visits, compared to 5 percent the previous week.

Total lab-confirmed cases to date are 5,486, compared to 17,397 at this time last season.

People should do the following to avoid getting sick: wash hands thoroughly and often; use hand sanitizers; stay away from sick people; avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and clean commonly touched surfaces.

If they are sick, people should stay home and avoid contact with others.


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