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East County News Service

November 26, 2017 (San Diego) -- Flu cases in San Diego County are at triple the level over last year, and four people have died so far this season, County Health and Human Services Agency has announced.

To date, a total of 574 lab-confirmed cases have been reported in the region this season, 400 more than the 174 that had been reported at the same time last year.

The latest death was a 92-year-old man who died Nov. 11 of influenza A. One death had been reported in San Diego County at this time last season.

Wilma Wooten, County public health officer, warns. “The flu can be deadly, especially for vulnerable populations. The best protection against the flu is getting vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.

Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include:

  • People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older, and
  • People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.

In addition to getting vaccinated, to reduce your odds of catching the flu, health officials advise washing hands thoroughly and often, using hand sanitizers, staying away from people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, cleaning commonly touched surfaces, and if you are sick, stay home to avoid infecting others.