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Flu Season May be Peaking in San Diego County

San Diego County CA— (CNC) Eleven more influenza deaths were reported in the San Diego region last week, but flu activity may be subsiding, the County Health and Human Services Agency reported on Wednesday.

“The local flu season appears to have peaked,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County public health officer. “However, influenza is still in the community, as the flu season typically lasts through the end of March. Therefore, people should continue to take preventive measures to avoid getting the virus.”

The ages of those who have died this season now range from 51 to 99 years and all had underlying medical conditions.

To date, there have been 54 influenza deaths this season, the same as at this time last year. Influenza claimed the lives of 70 San Diegans during the 2013-2014 season, and 65 people died during 2012-2013. These were the deadliest flu seasons since HHSA began tracking the disease.

For the week ending Feb. 14, 2015, the HHSA Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 6 percent of all visits (same as the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 514 (down from 797 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 54 (compared to 54 last season)
  • Total lab-confirmed influenza cases to date: 5,325 (compared to 3,422 last season)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop after receiving the vaccine.

The CDC has indicated this year’s vaccine is not as good a match for one of the strains, but it is very well matched for the other strains. Partial protection is better than no protection and having the vaccine helps prevent severe illness and hospitalizations.

For more information on influenza, vaccine availability and tips on how to stay healthy, visit The Flu and You.