San Diego, CA–A 42-year-old San Diego man is the first influenza death reported in the region this season, the County Health and Human Services Agency said Wednesday.
The man died on Dec. 9. He had underlying medical conditions and had not been vaccinated against influenza. He tested negative for COVID-19.
Influenza cases also continued to increase last week.
The County Health and Human Services Agency is reporting 192 lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week ending Dec. 25, a slight increase from the previous week when 188 flu infections were reported.
“Vaccination is the best defense we have against the flu,” said Cameron Kaiser, M.D., County deputy public health officer. “Flu season generally peaks between December and February, and this season’s first flu death reminds us that San Diegans who have not gotten immunized should do it now to protect themselves from becoming ill.”
For the week ending Dec. 25, 2021, the report shows the following:
- Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 5% of all visits (compared with 4% the previous week)
- Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 192 (compared to 188 the previous week)
- Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 1,052 (compared to 54 at the same time last season and a 1,699 prior 5-year average during the same week)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop. The CDC also indicates you can get the flu and COVID-19 vaccination at the same time, including a booster dose. The coronavirus vaccine does not work against influenza and vice versa.
The flu vaccine is especially important for people at higher risk of having serious complications from the virus.
- People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control
- Pregnant women
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk
The influenza vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies and is covered by medical insurance. People with no health care coverage can get vaccinated at one of the County’s six public health centers or a local community clinic. To find the nearest location, visit the County’s Flu Vaccine Locations page or call 2-1-1 San Diego.