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San Diego’s Flu Season Off To A Normal Start

— More than 2,000 people have been hospitalized nationwide with the flu, and dozens of states are reporting major flu outbreaks. But so far this season, the virus hasn't hit San Diego with as much force.

Aired 1/10/13 on KPBS News.

Health officials say so far this season, San Diego hasn't been hit as hard with the flu as many other parts of the country.

County of San Diego Health And Human Services

San Diego County Influenza Detections by Type and Week of Report, as of 1/5/13.

Last week 143 San Diegans were diagnosed with the flu. Health officials say that's normal activity for the first week of January.

Emergency departments in some major cities are packed with flu cases. But last week in San Diego County, people with flu-like illnesses made up only 3 percent of all emergency room visits.

Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's deputy health officer, said it's too soon to predict how severe the season will be.

"We've already had two deaths in the county from influenza, whereas last year we had zero. But when you look of the number of people going to emergency rooms, while we're ahead of last year, we're actually behind the level of two years ago."

McDonald said the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age.

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