Influenza-related deaths in the San Diego region continued to increase last week, bringing the total to 174 this flu season, though the overall number of cases declined for the third week in a row, according to county data released today.
An additional 32 deaths and 1,183 lab-confirmed cases were reported last week, down from 2,170 the week before and 2,992 the week before that.
The total number of cases to date stands at 13,712, compared to 2,100 at the same time last year, according to county data.
Health officials said part of this season's heightened activity could be due to better testing and reporting systems, coupled with the fact that infections occurred earlier than last season.``San Diego is experiencing the same severe flu conditions that are being seen across the country,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.Wooten said it's still not too late to get vaccinated for protection against the flu this season, which can extend into April.Vaccines are available at doctors' offices and retail pharmacies. Those without insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated.
For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 211.
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