Lab-confirmed flu cases increased countywide last week for the second consecutive week, county health officials announced Wednesday.
The county Health and Human Services Agency confirmed 74 flu cases, an increase of 22 cases over the revised 52 confirmed the previous week. The county confirmed 30 cases during the week of Oct. 20-26.
County health officials have confirmed 475 flu cases to date since tracking for the 2019-2020 flu season began July 1. At this time last year, the county had only confirmed 190 cases.
Health officials have also confirmed three deaths from flu-related causes this flu season.
“We’re seeing a steady increase in flu cases in recent weeks, a sign that influenza activity in the region is growing,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “The best protection against influenza is getting a flu shot.”
County health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly advise the annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, especially in demographics with a heightened risk of serious complications, such as pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions like lung disease and people age 65 or older.
Residents can take precautions against contracting the virus by frequently washing their hands, cleaning commonly touched surfaces and avoiding contact with sick people.
The flu vaccine is available at local doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies and the county’s public health centers. A full list of locations offering flu shots can be found at the county’s immunization website, sdiz.org, or by calling 211 for the county’s health hotline.
–City News Service
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