Health officials are calling for vaccinations as the number of cases was far exceeded last season


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The number of local influenza cases continues to rise, San Diego County health officials said Wednesday, another reminder to get vaccinated against the disease.

The county’s seasonal total is 353 cases after 42 infections reported for the week ending Saturday. Last year, only 28 infections had been reported at this point, and the five-year average for that date is 327.

“This holiday season, share the joy, not the germs,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, district health officer. “The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you. Get vaccinated now. “

For the week that ended on Saturday, the district’s health and social authority reported:

– visits to the emergency room for flu-like illnesses accounted for 3% of all visits, as in the previous week; and

– The total number of influenza deaths has been zero to date, just like it was last season at that time.

Every Wednesday during the flu season, the Agency for Health and Human Services publishes the weekly Influenza Watch report, which tracks key flu indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the area.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all people 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year. People with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, people age 65 and over, and people who live or care with others who are at higher risk are more likely to get the flu.

After vaccination, it takes about two weeks for protection against the virus to develop.

The vaccine is available in medical practices and pharmacies and is covered by health insurance. People without health insurance can get vaccinated at one of the county’s six public health centers or at a local community clinic.

To find the closest location, visit the county’s flu vaccines page by clicking or tapping here or by phone at 211.

In addition to vaccination, health officials said that to avoid getting sick, people should do the following:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often;
  • Use hand sanitiser;
  • avoid sick people;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces; and
  • When you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

848 cases of influenza were reported in San Diego County last season, including two deaths. In 2019, a total of 108 San Diegans died of influenza and more than 20,700 cases of flu were reported.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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