County flu cases continue to drop as season appears close to end

SAN DIEGO — County health officials announced Wednesday that they received no reports of influenza-related deaths last week for the first time since early February, as confirmed flu cases declined again.

The county’s Health and Human Services Agency confirmed 114 flu cases last week, down from a revised total of 170 cases recorded the week before. Lab- confirmed flu cases have now declined each of the last five weeks after reaching a season-high of 692 confirmed cases in mid-March.

“Given the continued decline of flu cases in recent weeks, it appears that the worst of the influenza season in San Diego is over,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer.

To date, the county has confirmed 67 flu-related deaths across this flu season, a decline of more than 80 percent from the 341 deaths reported at this time last flu season. The season total of lab-confirmed flu cases is down by more than half year-over-year, from 20,735 at this time last flu season to 9,287 throughout the current season.

While flu season appears to be wrapping up, county health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still 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 also can 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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