The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the San Diego region increased significantly last week over the week before, county health officials reported today.
According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, 182 flu cases were reported, compared to 107 the previous week.
That brings the total number of cases during “flu season” in San Diego County to 859. At this time last year, the total was 242.
Four people have died of influenza-related causes so far, compared to three at this point in 2016.
“Flu activity in San Diego and across the country continues to be elevated for this time of year,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “Get vaccinated now to protect yourself and your family, especially with the holidays coming up.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots annually for everyone at least 6 months old. Vaccination is more important for people with weakened immune systems, as well as those who are pregnant, elderly or live with or care for others at high risk.
Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
Flu vaccines are available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies. People without medical insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated. A list of locations is available at www.sdiz.org or by calling 211.