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San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency has fused influenza and COVID-19 activities under a new weekly Respiratory Virus Surveillance report, the agency announced Friday.

The Respiratory Virus Surveillance (RVS) report will be released every Thursday with information about outbreaks, and deaths. It will also contain graphs and tables allowing the community to compare illness activity this year to prior seasons.

“The new report paints a more comprehensive picture of respiratory illness activity in the region,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The report is a one-stop-shop for community members and healthcare providers, and we will continue to update it with new features in the future, as necessary.”

The number of COVID-19 and Influenza cases were tracked since July 3, 2022, in the first RVS report, which shows 86,608 and 1,664, respectively. There have been 96 COVID-19-related deaths since then and no influenza deaths. 

The number of influenza cases this year was more than a seven-fold increase with 1,664 cases compared to last year’s 217 cases. 

The number of people in San Diego County hospitalized with COVID-19 has decreased by six to 124, according to the latest state data. Two more patients were treated in intensive care as of Friday, and there were 240 ICU beds available in the county. 

A total of 1,480,105 or 60.0% of 2,467,279 eligible San Diegans have received boosters for COVID. The 1,591 cases reported in the past week were slightly lower compared to the 1,855 infections identified the previous week.

The announcement of RVS reports comes after county health officials predict an “extremely disruptive” flu season. 

While the County monitors flu activity year-round, flu season is typically October to March or later each year. Respiratory illnesses historically increase during fall and winter as many people move gatherings indoors, but flu activity typically does not peak until December or January.

The County has already seen several large suspected respiratory outbreaks in October, including a cluster of illnesses at local schools

I want to remind San Diegans to use precautions we know are effective in protecting against illness, including the flu,” Wooten said in a statement earlier this week. 

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