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SAN DIEGO — County health officials announced Wednesday the first influenza death in San Diego this season.

According to the County Health and Human Services Agency, the 42-year-old man from the North Central region of the county, had underlying medical conditions, was not vaccinated against the flu and tested negative for COVID-19. He died on Dec. 9.

Influenza cases also continued to increase last week, as the county reports 192 lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week ending Dec. 25. It’s a slight increase from the previous week when 188 flu infections were reported.

“Vaccination is the best defense we have against the flu,” said Cameron Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “Flu season generally peaks between December and February, and this season’s first flu death reminds us that San Diegans who have not gotten immunized should do it now to protect themselves from becoming ill.”

For the week ending Dec. 25, the report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 5% of all visits (compared with 4% the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 192 (compared to 188 the previous week)
  • Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 1,052 (compared to 54 at the same time last season and a 1,699 prior 5-year average during the same week)