By County News Center
San Diego, CA–While influenza activity in the region is currently lower compared to other recent seasons, cases for this season are higher than last, and County health officials continue to urge San Diegans to get vaccinated to prevent getting sick with the flu.
The County Health and Human Services Agency is reporting 139 lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week ending Jan. 1, a decrease from the previous week when 185 flu infections were reported.
Flu numbers can vary week to week, but County health officials believe lower influenza case counts may be the result of state COVID-19 mask mandates and other preventive measures San Diegans are taking to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re seeing record numbers of COVID-19 infections in our community right now, and you don’t want to get the flu and COVID at the same time,” said Cameron Kaiser, M.D., County deputy public health officer. “Get vaccinated against the flu as soon as you can. Every flu case prevented makes more resources available to defeat COVID-19, and means you’re not getting sick – or worse.”
The County Health and Human Services Agency publishes the weekly Influenza Watch report, which tracks key flu indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the region.
For the week ending Jan. 1, 2022, the report shows the following:
- Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 7% of all visits (compared with 5% the previous week)
- Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 139 (compared to 185 the previous week)
- Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 1,185 (compared to 224 at the same time last season and a 2,820 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.