16-year-old girl dies from flu complications

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – 3/23/2016 1:45 p.m. – A 16-year-old girl was one of the influenza deaths reported last week, the county Health and Human Services agency announced. This marks the first pediatric death in three years to be caused by the flu in San Diego County. 

The victim died on Mar. 16 from influenza B, but also had underlying medical conditions, according to the HHSA. 

"Our condolences go out to the family and friends of this young girl," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. "The flu can be
deadly, even when it appears to be a milder season, so getting vaccinated and seeking care early is important in every age group."

3/16/2016 1:30 p.m. – 15 deaths caused by influenza-related complications were recorded in San Diego County last week, according to County health officials. This raises the total death county during "flu season" up to 41, which is drastically lower than the 90 deaths recorded in the same period last year. 

"It’s unfortunate the flu continues to take a toll on San Diegans," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. "While it appears the flu season may have peaked, flu activity in the region is still elevated."

3/9/2016 12:36 p.m. – 11 deaths caused by influenza-related complications were recorded last week in San Diego, raising the "flu season" death toll up to 26, county health officials reported Wednesday. This is a sharp decline from last year, however, where 84 people had died from flu complications at this point. 

"Influenza continues to take lives, especially those who are at higher risk of developing complications from the illness,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said. "Since influenza cases are reported through the spring, and even into the summer, people should still get vaccinated — it
is not too late."

The county Health and Human Services Agency also reported the first decline in weekly flu numbers, down to 864 laboratory-confirmed cases. Nearly 4500 cases of influenza have been diagnosed this year, approximately 1700 less than this time last year. The HHSA reported 74 fatalities at this point in 2015. So far, more than 2,600 cases of influenza have been confirmed in the lab, compared to over 5,800 this time last year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots annually for everyone at least 6 months old. Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices and pharmacies. Those without medical insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated. A list of locations is available at www.sdiz.org or by calling 211.

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