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Flu cases remain widespread, season likely to last several more weeks

SAN DIEGO – Flu cases remain widespread in San Diego County, with medical officials confirming more than 500 new diagnoses, county health officials announced Wednesday.

The county confirmed 564 cases last week, down from a revised total of 692 confirmed cases the week before. County officials have identified influenza A H3N2 as the season’s primary strain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the county’s Health and Human Services Agency both issued advisories last week, reminding doctors to consider influenza as a possible cause of respiratory issues in patients.

The county received only one report of a resident dying due to flu- related causes last week. The county has confirmed 55 flu deaths and 8,470 flu cases this season, a far cry from the 325 deaths and 20,097 cases reported at this time last flu season.

“Given the elevated level of influenza activity, the flu season is likely to last several more weeks,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “If you have not gotten a flu shot, do it now, especially if you’re part of the groups at higher risk of developing complications.”

County health officials and the CDC strongly advise the annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, especially in demographics with a heightened risk of serious complications, such as pregnant women, people older than 65 and people with chronic conditions.

Flu shots are available at doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, community clinics and the county’s public health centers. Residents can also call 211 or visit the county’s immunization program website, sdiz.com, for a list of county locations administering free vaccines.

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