San Diego flu season: Flu deaths reach record high

Number of cases have gone down, officials say

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A record number of people in San Diego County have died from the flu this season, county health officials announced Wednesday.

County Health and Human Services Agency officials said 142 flu-related deaths were reported through Jan. 13. The 142 fatalities are the highest the county has recorded since it began tracking deaths 20 years ago.

According to officials, the previous record for flu deaths in San Diego County was 97 during the 2014-15 flu season.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Week-to-week look at flu spread across U.S.

Health officials did not that lab-confirmed cases in the county dropped for the second straight week, from 3,046 to 2,070.

Statistics through Jan. 13, 2018, as compiled by HHSA officials:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 7 percent of all visits (compared to 11 percent the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 2,070 (compared to 3,046 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 142 (compared to 14 at this time last season)
  • Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 12,446 (compared to 1,788 last season)

Local health experts have said those most at risk are people with chronic medical conditions, who are pregnant, who 65 years or older, or who live with or care for others at risk.

While flu vaccines are recommended, other simple steps to consider include:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often,
  • Use hand sanitizers,
  • Stay away from sick people,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth,
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces, and
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

A list of public health center locations to get vaccinated is available here.

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