SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Five more people have died from influenza in San Diego and weekly cases hit a season high this past week.
County health officials said one of the flu deaths included a 40-year-old man from North County who had underlying medical conditions with no known flu vaccination record. The other deaths ranged from 47 to 90 years of age and all also had underlying medical conditions.
This season, there have been a total of 54 influenza-related deaths in the county. At this time last year, there had been 318 deaths.
"Influenza can be deadly. People should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventative measures, especially those at higher risk of developing complications," said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said. "In addition to getting vaccinated, people should practice good hand hygiene."
Over last week, 675 flu cases were reported in San Diego County, a season high, according to County Health and Human Services. The number is up 21 percent of the week before, when 536 cases were recorded.
Due to the increased flu activity, an order for unvaccinated medical personnel to to wear masks while in patient care areas has been extended until April 30.
Flu shots are available at doctors' offices, retail pharmacies, community clinics and the county's public health centers. Residents can also call 211 or visit the county's immunization program website, sdiz.com, for a list of locations offering free vaccinations.