Number of flu cases in county triple that of previous years

SAN DIEGO — The number of influenza cases in San Diego County so far this year is triple that of the previous several years, local health officials said Wednesday.

There have been a total of 445 lab-confirmed flu cases this season, which began on July 1, compared to an average of 112 cases during the same period for the previous three years. There have been three deaths so far this season, compared to one at this time last season, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

“We cannot predict just how severe a flu season is going to be, but a lot more cases are being reported than in previous years,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “If you have not gotten vaccinated, do it now to avoid getting sick.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated annually. It is especially important for those at high risk of developing flu-related complications. That includes people with asthma, diabetes and lung disease, pregnant women, those over 65 and people who live with or care for others who are at higher risk.

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies. Those without insurance can get vaccinated at a county public health center. For more information visit http://www.sdiz.org or call 211.