A troubling spike in flu-related deaths was reported by county health officials Tuesday.
The number doubled last week, bringing this season’s total to 91.
Incredibly, 11% of all emergency room visits in San Diego County last week were for treatment of the flu. There were 2,992 confirmed cases in the region during the same time period compared to 3,354 the previous week. The season’s total now stands at 10,324. That’s roughly eight times higher than the number of cases this time last year.
NOT EMERGENCY STATUS, YET
Despite the skyrocketing number of cases, health officials reported to the Board of Supervisors that it hasn’t yet reached emergency status.
Dr. Nick Yphantides, the county’s chief medical officer said, “It is very important to note that the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the state have not declared an emergency, at present, as resources have not been exhausted.”
Public health officials say vaccinations are still available and it’s not too late to get a shot.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, director of the county’s public health services said, “The flu vaccine is the best public health tool we have, and an annual flu shot is recommended to everyone over 6 months. The vaccine helps your body develop protection in two weeks and can lessen severity if one gets the flu. The vaccine is matched with all four circulating strains.”