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County Health Officials: San Diego Flu Season Is Over

A bottle of influenza vaccine sits on a table at the South Region Live Well C...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: A bottle of influenza vaccine sits on a table at the South Region Live Well Center in Chula Vista, April 26, 2018.

UPDATE: 4:57 p.m., April, 25, 2017

After the deadliest and largest flu season on record in San Diego, county health officials said influenza season is over.

“It’s never really gone,” said Dr. Eric McDonald with San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. “But it’s down to a level that we would say from a layman's perspective that season is ending.”

This season a record 20,661 influenza cases and 341 flu-related deaths have been confirmed. County health officials said flu season in San Diego typically ends in March, but this season has been especially long and deadly.

“I think one of the lessons learned that we had this year was that when we let people in San Diego know that there are increased number of cases — more people get vaccinated,” said McDonald. “We’ve had almost 150,000 more doses into our registry this year for flu vaccine than the year before.”

Two flu deaths were reported in San Diego County last week, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.

RELATED: How Long Are You Contagious With The Flu?

Health officials also reported 101 lab-confirmed flu cases in total last week, a drop from 175 cases the week of April 8. Emergency room visits by patients with flu-like symptoms also dropped from 2 percent to 1 percent in that period.

"It appears that we're at the end of this flu season," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "However, people should continue to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus."

Overall, there have been 341 flu-related deaths in San Diego County this season. Forty-four of the deaths involved patients under 65 years old, though victims have ranged from one to 101 years old.

RELATED: How Long Are You Contagious With The Flu?

This has been an unusually severe flu season. There were 86 flu-related deaths at this time last season, and 5,428 lab-confirmed cases, compared to the 20,661 reported cases so far this season.

Two flu deaths were reported in San Diego County last week, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.

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