SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Health officials say 18 more people have died from flu-related illness in San Diego in the last week.
San Diego's flu-death total for the season is now at 269 people. Officials said this season the deaths have ranged in people 1- to 101-years-old. Thirty-four of those deaths have been in individuals under the age of 65.
At the same time last season, there were only 49 recorded flu-related deaths.
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"Influenza deaths are very unfortunate, but they occur in higher numbers during a severe flu season," Wilma Wooten, County public health officer, said. "If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, do it now since the flu season can last through April and, sometimes, later."
Lab-confirmed cases of influenza declined last week, however, from 973 cases to 721 - following two weeks on increases in cases.
The most common strain of influenza this season is H3N2, which has a more severe impact on the elderly and very young, according to officials.
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Local health officials said it is not too late to get a flu shot, which covers H3N2, pandemic H1N1-like and influenza B strains.
Officials also reminded San Diegans to protect themselves from the flu by:
- Washing hands thoroughly and often,
- Using hand sanitizers,
- Staying away from sick people,
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth,
- Cleaning commonly touched surfaces, and
- If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.