By José A. Álvarez
County of San Diego Communications Office
The total of local lab-confirmed influenza cases in San Diego County is outpacing the numbers reported at this time last year, the County Health and Human Services Agency recently announced.
Through Dec. 10, a total of 291 cases of influenza had been reported in the county, 113 more than at the same time last season, when 178 had been reported.
That is why County health officials are encouraging all San Diegans to get vaccinated before the worst of the flu season gets here.
“The flu is very unpredictable but we are seeing a larger number of cases being reported this year,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The best way to avoid getting sick is to get a flu shot.”
For the week ending Dec. 10, 2016, the Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report showed the following:
- Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 2 percent of all visits (down from 3 percent the previous week)
- Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 61 (up from 40 the previous week)
- Total influenza deaths to date: 1 (compared to 2 at this time last season)
How to Prevent the Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.
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.