A recent issue of Influenza Watch, a weekly report released by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency to summarize findings from its monitoring of influenza, has revealed an increase in the number of local hospitals’ emergency department patients who exhibited flu-like symptoms. The report also listed several new flu-related deaths, which brings the total number of flu-related deaths to a total of 42 for the 2018-2019 flu season.
Regarding this flu season, Dr. Eric McDonald, who serves as the medical director of San Diego County’s epidemiology and immunization services branch, stated that while H1N1 viruses are still the main cause of flu infection in San Diego County, H3N2 viruses are the foremost source of flu infection in many parts of the U.S. He expressed that these H3N2 viruses are spreading across the country and may cause a spike in flu-related illnesses that extends the flu season into April. Dr. McDonald finished by reminding San Diego citizens that the flu vaccine is still available and asserting that, if citizens were to receive the vaccine now, it should provide them with immunity and resistance to the H3N2 viruses by the time they spread to San Diego County.