A 65-year-old man from East County is the first influenza death reported in San Diego County this season, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.
The man, who was also diagnosed with the coronavirus, died Jan. 13, had underlying medical conditions and had been vaccinated against influenza.
“Influenza deaths are very unfortunate, but they do occur every flu season,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer. “While influenza activity has been very low this season, San Diegans should get vaccinated against the flu to prevent getting influenza and COVID-19 at the same time.”
Through Jan. 30, 39 people in the county have been diagnosed with influenza and COVID-19 at the same time.
To date, 677 influenza cases have been reported in the region, compared to 11,863 cases registered at the same time last year. A total of 108 people died from influenza last season in San Diego County.
The U.S. 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, including:
- people with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control;
- pregnant women;
- people 65 years and older; and
- people who live with or care for others who are at high risk.