SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A 14-year-old girl is the first child to die from influenza this season in San Diego.
The girl, who died on Feb. 12, had an underlying health condition, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency. She had contracted influenza A, also known as H1N1, the county says, and had not received this season's flu vaccine.
“Pediatric influenza deaths are very unfortunate. Our condolences go out to the family,” said Wilma Wooten, County public health officer. “It is extremely important that people get vaccinated because influenza can be deadly.”
The teen is one of five flu deaths reported last week, bringing the county's death toll this season to 35 people. The other deaths last week were four men —ages 82, 73, 62 and 56 — and all had underlying medical conditions. Only the 82-year-old and the 56-year-old had been vaccinated, the county says.
At this time last season, there had been 268 deaths.
“Influenza continues to be widespread. If you have not gotten a flu shot, do it now,” Wooten added.
Last week, 539 lab-confirmed cases of influenza were reported, compares to 476 at the same time last season.
The majority of cases have been of the H1N1 virus, the county says, which typically affects younger and middle-aged adults because they have not been exposed as much as older adults.