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'Flu activity is increasing in San Diego'

Posted: 12:08 PM, Feb 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-12 02:04:35Z
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - More San Diegans were sickened by influenza last week than any other week during the current "flu season,'' the county Health and Human Service Department reported today.
   
According to the HHSA,  266 people came down with the flu last week, up from 192 the week before.
   
"Flu activity is increasing in San Diego and is widespread in the state,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "The good news is that the vaccine is very well matched with the strains of flu that are
in the community, and it is never too late to get your flu shot.''
   
Despite last week's increase, the rate of infections and flu-related fatalities is way down from last year.
   
So far this year, around 1,200 cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing, compared to well over 4,800 last year.
   
Five San Diegans have died of flu-related causes this year, compared to 57 at this point in 2015.
   
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. Those 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.