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Local doctors report mild flu season so far

Posted at 8:37 PM, Nov 30, 2018

Central Coast health experts are reporting a mild flu season so far.

San Luis Obispo County is reporting less than 10 diagnosed flu cases so far this year. The county says there could be other cases, however, that weren’t confirmed by a lab or that weren’t reported to the county. Physicians are not required to report the flu.

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department says the majority of the cases that have been reported were the same strain of H1N1, which was predominant in 2009. The department says if this continues to be the main strain going around this flu season, there will likely be a slightly milder flu season because the strain matches this year’s flu vaccine. Some people might also have lingering immunity from being exposed to H1N1 in 2009.

Health experts say if the predominant strain changes, there could be different trends.

Doctors say regardless of the intensity of flu season, people should get a flu vaccine.

Santa Barbara County says the flu is not a reportable disease, so the county only gets numbers if there are deaths or ICU hospitalizations in people under the age of 65. The Santa Barbara County Health Department says there have been none of those so far this season, and health experts have noticed low flu activity in the county.