First 14-year-old to die of flu this season in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A 14-year-old girl is the first child to die of flu this season in San Diego.

The girl, who died on February 12, was suffering from an underlying health problem, according to the County Agency for Health and Human Services. She had contracted influenza A, also known as H1N1, and had not received the flu shot this season.

"Influenza deaths in children are very unfortunate. Our condolences go out to the family, "said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "It's extremely important that people get vaccinated because the flu can be deadly."

The teenager is one of five flu deaths reported last week, bringing the county's death toll to 35 this season. The other deaths last week were four men – aged 82, 73, 62 and 56 – and all had underlying health problems. According to the county, only 82 and 56 years old have been vaccinated.

At this time last season, there were 268 deaths.

"The flu continues to be prevalent. If you have not received a flu shot, do it now, "added Wooten.

Last week, 539 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases were reported, compared to 476 at the same time last season.

The majority of cases are related to the H1N1 virus, says the county, which generally affects young and middle-aged adults because they have not been exposed as much as older adults.

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