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Flu death toll rises to 251 in San Diego

16 February 2018

Connolly said the exact cause of death is pending an autopsy by the medical examiner's office. The percentage spiked over the last three weeks, and is now higher than at this time in any of the last three flu seasons. No appointments are needed to receive a flu shot during this event.

Mass. General alone has already reported 12 adult deaths from flu this season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizations are the highest they've been since they started measuring in 2010.

"There may be spot shortages of certain types of flu vaccine", said Root, who encouraged everyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot.

Scientists think part of the reason for that has to do with when people are born and what kind of flu viruses they're first exposed to in life.

"If it is a bad season, and this is a bad season, that's going to prevent thousands of hospitalizations and deaths", he said.

Mugangala said her way to avoid catching the flu now is just to stay away from people who are sick, stay warm and take advantage of the hand sanitizer dispensers that are placed around campus.

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health estimates between 250 and 1,100 Massachusetts residents die annually from complications of influenza. Reported cases of people with influenza-like illnesses are more than twice the activity seen in a typical flu season.

More: Why are people outside high-risk groups dying from the flu?

Flu symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people, including young children, may have diarrhea and vomiting. Find a map of local health department locations and contact information online at

Cloninger did note that there had been a shortage on the flu vaccine recently throughout the area. Vaccine is still available, and there is likely to be flu activity for weeks to come.

Scannell had a message for parents: "Do not hesitate if your child is not feeling well to keep them home".

Wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, or use hand sanitizer. The strength of this year's epidemic has also lead to an increase in influenza-based fear-mongering, generally about the drugs or vaccines used to combat the virus.

Federal scientists say people should get vaccinated even though this year's shot hasn't been that effective, particularly against a nasty H3N2 strain.

Flu death toll rises to 251 in San Diego