SAN DIEGO - Two people died of influenza-related causes in San Diego County last week, bringing the number of seasonal flu fatalities to 48, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported Wednesday.
Most of the victims were either elderly or already suffering from a medical condition. Last year, there were 65 flu-related deaths.
The latest figures show the rate of infections is continuing a dramatic decline. Last week, 71 laboratory-confirmed flu cases were reported, compared to several hundred a week in January and early February, according to the HHSA.
The reduction in the infection rate has prompted the agency to stop issuing news releases regarding flu season. A report called "Influenza Watch" will be generated for the medical community for a few more weeks, according to an agency spokesman.
The season total to date of confirmed influenza cases in the county now stands at more than 3,700, according to the HHSA.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is especially important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu, including people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women, and people 65 years and older.
The flu vaccine offers protection against the Pandemic H1N1, Influenza A H3N2 and Influenza B strains. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop after getting vaccinated.