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Flu Cases Dwindling In San Diego, But Deaths Still Being Reported

Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A person receives a flu shot in this undated photo.

The number of influenza cases in the San Diego region continued to dwindle last week, though four more deaths were reported to bring the "flu season" toll to 60, county health officials said Wednesday.

The county Health and Human Services Agency reported that 155 cases of influenza were confirmed by laboratory testing last week, down from 281 the previous week. The case load was over 400 the week before that.

"Flu activity is winding down in the region, but flu deaths are still being reported," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer. "People should get vaccinated and take other precautions to avoid getting sick."

The ages of those who have died this season range from 9 to 98, and seven had no known underlying medical conditions. Last year at this time, 93 people had died of flu-related causes.

The county reported 5,761 influenza cases so far this season, compared to 6,672 at the same time in 2015.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots annually for everyone at least 6 months old. Vaccination is more important for people with weakened immune systems, as well as those who are pregnant, elderly or live with or care for others at high risk.

Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices and pharmacies. Those without medical insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated. A list of locations is available at www.sdiz.org or by calling 211.

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