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Thousands kick off flu season with annual vaccine

San Diego flu season: Flu deaths reach record high
Posted at 4:50 PM, Sep 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 19:50:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- Thousands of people got their vaccinations Saturday, to kick off this year's flu season. The vaccination event was held at four Kaiser Permanente locations in San Diego County.

For Byron Frohm, a trip to Kaiser Permanente in Mid-September is an annual tradition.

"I can't think of any reason not to get it," Frohm said.

The reason he does get the flu shot is his perfect, 40-year flu-free record. He says the vaccinations help him ward off the dangerous bug.

"This virus is very strong," Shreya Chandra, MD. said. "It is hitting our community, and getting the vaccination really is prevention."

Last season, health officials recorded 77 deaths in San Diego County. In the 2017-2018 season, there were 343 deaths. This was the highest number of fatalities since the county began tracking flu data nearly two decades ago.

Already this year, there has been one confirmed flu-related death. The county said a 74-year-old Chula Vista man died August 15, 2019, due to complications from Influenza B. All the more reason for 76-year-old Frohm to stick to his regimen.

"At my age, I'm probably more susceptible," Frohm said.

Other high-risk groups include pregnant women, people with asthma, diabetes, and other illnesses.

Some symptoms of Influenza include high fever, severe body aches, nausea, sore throat, and fatigue. This could last up to two weeks. Many people mistake the signs to that of the common cold.

Doctors say many people who have the flu do not show any symptoms. But they can still spread the illness.

"I can still carry it and pass it on to elderly parents or people who can potentially get really sick from this virus," Dr. Chandra said.

That is why Dr. Chandra strongly recommends the annual vaccine. She believes the best treatment is prevention.

"We have State-of-the-art care and medicine. We live in San Diego. But the point of this vaccination is that we never need State-of-the-art care. You never get sick in the first place," Dr. Chandra said.