By County News Center
San Diego, CA–The number of influenza cases being reported in the region this season is higher than the average for this same time in recent years, the County Health and Human Services Agency said Wednesday.
A total of 195 lab-confirmed influenza cases have been reported so far this season. That compared to six at the same time last year, but that extremely low number came while many COVID-19 restrictions were still in place. The prior five-year average was 128 cases to date.
Given this season’s pace, County health officials are urging San Diegans to get their flu vaccination before influenza activity increases in the region.
“San Diegans should get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their families,” says Cameron Kaiser, M.D., County deputy public health officer. “Getting a flu shot is especially important given that COVID-19 is still negatively impacting our communities. Influenza and COVID-19 can both be significant respiratory illnesses and we have safe and effective vaccines for both. You can even get a flu and COVID shot at the same time.”
The County Health and Human Services Agency has begun publishing the weekly Influenza Watch report, which tracks key influenza indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the region. The report is released every Wednesday during the flu season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop.
“Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza,” Kaiser said.
The influenza vaccine is now 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.