SAN DIEGO — Thirty-two new flu-related deaths, among them a 10-year-old boy, were reported in San Diego last week, bringing the number of deaths this flu season to 206, county health officials announced Wednesday.
According to County Health and Human Services Agency officials, the 10-year-old boy died on Jan. 25 after he was hospitalized with influenza A/H3. Officials noted he was not vaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
Officials confirmed the boy is the second San Diego County child to die from the flu this season. According to officials, "two pediatric flu-related deaths were reported each of the past two seasons."
Health officials noted that lab-confirmed cases and emergency room visits due to flu-like symptoms "decreased significantly" last week.
Despite the additional deaths reported, new lab-confirmed cases and emergency room visits due to influenza-like illness decreased significantly last week.
Statistics through Jan. 27, 2018, as compiled by HHSA officials:
- Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 6 percent of all visits (compared to 9 percent the previous week)
- Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 601 (compared to 1,168 the previous week)
- Total influenza deaths to date: 206 (compared to 33 at this time last season)
- Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 14,289 (compared to 2,398 last season)
Health experts have said those most at risk are people with chronic medical conditions, who are pregnant, who 65 years or older, or who live with or care for others at risk.
While flu vaccines are recommended, other simple steps to consider include:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often,
- Use hand sanitizers,
- Stay away from sick people,
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth,
- Clean commonly touched surfaces, and
- If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
A list of public health center locations to get vaccinated is available here.