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By Jose A. Alvarez
County of San Diego Communications Office 

Five more San Diegans die from flu, weekly cases hit seasonal high


Last updated 4/4/2019 at 4:01pm

Five new influenza deaths were reported last week, and flu cases went up as well, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced.

The five people who died included a 40-year-old man from North County with no underlying medical conditions and no known flu vaccination record in his medical history. The ages of the other flu deaths range from 47 to 90 years of age, and all had underlying medical conditions.

To date, 54 influenza deaths have been reported in San Diego County. At the same time last season, 318 people had died from complications from the flu.

A total of 675 influenza cases were reported last week, a new high for the season. The total represents a 21 percent increase from the previous week when 536 cases were reported.

“Influenza can be deadly. People should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventative measures, especially those at higher risk of developing complications,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said. “In addition to getting vaccinated, people should practice good hand hygiene.”

Due to continued elevated influenza activity in the county, the order for unvaccinated health care personnel to wear a mask while they’re in patient care areas has been extended until April 30. If influenza activity remains elevated, a further extension may be required.

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.

For the week ending March 23, 2019, the Influenza Watch report shows the following: emergency department visits for influenza-like illness were 5 percent of all visits, same as the previous week. The total number of lab-confirmed cases to date is 7,886, compared to 19,841 at this time last season.

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


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