SAN DIEGO–A 38-year-old man is one of five flu deaths reported last week, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.
The North County man died on Jan. 8 from Influenza A Pandemic H1N1 and had underlying medical conditions. His vaccination status is unknown.
Typically, the Pandemic H1N1 virus sickens younger people more than others because younger and middle-aged adults have not been exposed to the H1N1 virus as much as older adults, and these groups typically have the lowest vaccination rates in the nation.
The four other people who died from influenza last week also had existing chronic illness and only one had been vaccinated. The new deaths bring this year’s total to 16. In comparison, 142 flu deaths had been reported at the same time last year.
“Influenza deaths are very unfortunate but serve as a reminder that the flu can be deadly, especially for the very young, the elderly and those with existing chronic conditions,” said Sayone Thihalolipavan, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “The best way to prevent getting influenza is getting vaccinated.”
The County Health and Human Services Agency publishes the weekly Influenza Watch report, which tracks key flu indicators and summarizes influenza surveillance in the region. All other indicators are at expected levels for this time of year.