SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The county of San Diego recorded the first death of the flu this season, involving a 52-year-old woman suffering from medical conditions, the Agency for Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday.
Resident San Diego, who was not named, died on Friday, according to the HHSA, who said her vaccination status was unclear.
Two flu deaths were reported in the region at this time last year.
"Every death is tragic, our condolences address the individual's family," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, County Health Officer. "This death serves as an unfortunate memory of the importance of getting a blow of the flu."
Last season, 342 people in San Diego County died of complications caused by the flu, 255 more than in the previous season and the highest number since the county began to track the death of the flu now nearly 20 years. Most were over 65 and had medical conditions, but two children also died of influenza last year amid a severe flu season at national level.
For the week ending November 3, HHSA reported 26 laboratory-confirmed flu cases, compared with 24 in the previous week, with 155 total cases confirmed by the laboratory to date compared to 383 last season. Visits to influenza-like emergency sites accounted for 2% of total visits, unchanged from the previous week, according to the HHSA.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone aged 6 months and over receive a flu shot each year. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.
Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of developing serious flu complications, including people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if the symptoms are under control; pregnant women; people aged 65 and over; and people living with or caring for others who are at greater risk.
In addition to getting vaccinated, people should also do the following to avoid getting sick:
– Wash well and often hands;
– use hand disinfectants;
– stay away from the sick;
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and
– frequently clean the touched surfaces.
If you are ill, stay at home and avoid contact with others.
The influenza vaccine is available at physician and retail pharmacies. Those without medical insurance can go to a county health center to be vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2- 1-1.