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Flu Season Off To Aggressive Start In San Diego County

Ozeal Thrift, 82, receives a flu vaccination at the County of San Diego's inf...

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: Ozeal Thrift, 82, receives a flu vaccination at the County of San Diego's influenza vaccine kick-off event in the Oak Park neighborhood of Southeast San Diego, Sept. 29, 2017.

Flu season in San Diego County is off to an aggressive start, with confirmed cases three times higher than they were at this time last year.

The elevated activity has health officials urging everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine now before the peak hits in January or February.

“The signs are unfortunately showing that we are having higher than expected flu cases, and we’re not seeing that slow down,” said Dr. Sayone Thihalolipavan, county deputy public health officer.

According to the latest weekly report from the county Health and Human Services Agency, four people have died and nearly 700 have tested positive for the virus since tracking began in July.

Thihalolipavan said most people are contracting the influenza A strain.

“Nothing is unusual or atypical,” Thihalolipavan said. “We don’t see or have any evidence or the CDC is not saying that these strains are more severe, per se, but we are seeing more people getting the flu.”

He said the A strain is not as brutal as the H1N1 pandemic was that hit the region in 2009, but it can be dangerous — especially to young children and seniors.

“Thankfully, emergency departments are not being overburdened yet by the flu,” Thihalolipavan said.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, and fatigue. People suffering severe symptoms or have underlying conditions should seek medical attention.

The elevated activity has health officials urging everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine now, before the peak hits in January or February.

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