By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: a flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
February 17, 2022 (San Diego) - The County Health and Human Services Agency is reporting 34 new lab-confirmed influenza cases, a slight uptick from last week when 26 cases were reported.
No additional deaths were reported for the period ending Feb. 12. So far, there have been two influenza deaths this season.
“While flu infections continue to trend low, nearly twice as many San Diegans have been diagnosed with influenza this season, compared to last season,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Flu is preventable and the influenza vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent this seasonal illness.”
The latest Influenza Watch Report from the County Health and Human Services Agency shows the following for the week ending Feb. 12, 2022:
- Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 3% of all visits (compared with 3% the previous week).
- Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 34 (compared to 26 the previous week).
- Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 1,543 (compared to 689 at the same time last season and a 8,071 prior 5-year average during the same week).
- Influenza-related deaths reported to date: 2 (compared to 1 at the same time last year).
How to Prevent the Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop. The CDC also indicates you can get a flu and COVID-19 vaccination at the same time, including a booster dose. The coronavirus vaccine does not work against influenza and vice versa.
The flu vaccine is especially important for people at higher risk of having serious complications from the virus.
- People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control
- Pregnant women
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk
The influenza vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies and is covered by medical insurance. People with no health care coverage can get vaccinated at one of the County’s six public health centers or a local community clinic. To find the nearest location, visit the County’s Flu Vaccine Locations page or call 2-1-1 San Diego.
In addition to getting vaccinated, people should also do the following to avoid getting sick:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often;
- Use hand sanitizers, if unable to wash hands;
- 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.
During the 2020-2021 flu season, a total of 848 influenza cases were reported in San Diego, including two deaths. During the 2019-2020 flu season, more than 20,700 flu cases were reported and 108 San Diegans died from influenza.