Flu Deaths Rise To 45 In San Diego County, Including Infant

Wednesday, January 3, 2018
By City News Service, Matt Hoffman
Photo by Susan Murphy / KPBS
Above: A woman walks into the emergency room at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, Jan. 3, 2018.

A 12-month-old child died on New Year's Eve after contracting influenza, bringing the total flu deaths in San Diego County this season to 45, health officials reported Wednesday.

The baby, like all of the others who died from the flu this season and for whom information is available, had underlying medical conditions, according to county health officials.

RELATED: Flu Cases On The Rise In San Diego, Patients Pack Into Sharp Grossmont

"The death of a child is very unfortunate. Our sympathy goes out to the family for their tragic loss," said Dr. Sayone Thihalolipavan, the county's deputy public health officer.

This time last flu season, there were five deaths in San Diego County. There have been 7,314 lab-confirmed flu cases so far this season, compared to 883 last season.

Public health officials are urging people to get vaccinated if they haven't already done so and to stay home if they are sick.

"We are seeing a very high number of flu deaths and cases," Thihalolipavan said. "Sick people should stay home to avoid infecting others at work, in school or in public places. People should not shake hands, share food or drinks, or kiss if they are sick."