Bay Area’s Deadly Flu Season

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Health officials on Wednesday have linked the deaths of two people in Marin County to the flu, and another two deaths in Santa Cruz County are suspected of being flu-related.

A 63-year-old man with significant chronic medical conditions died on Dec. 27, and a previously healthy 48-year-old woman died of an influenza-related complication on Jan. 6, Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said.

Both were hospitalized in intensive care, and neither had received a flu vaccine, Willis said.

Six other flu patients, most of them young or middle-aged adults, have been hospitalized in the county, Willis said.


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There were also two suspected influenza-related deaths within the last two weeks in Santa Cruz County, a spokeswoman from that county’s Public Health Department said. Both people were under age 65 and lab tests have not yet confirmed that the deaths are flu-related, the spokeswoman said.

Health officials in Contra Costa county reported yesterday that 48-year-old woman died last week from flu-related complications. The unidentified woman had underlying medical conditions along with the H1N1 virus, according to Kate Fowlie, a spokeswoman with the Costa County Health Department.

And, a 41-year-old woman in Santa Clara died on Dec. 23 as a result of the H1N1 virus but health officials said that the unidentified woman was already severely ill when she sought medical attention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the H1N1 virus continues to circulate widely, and illnesses are disproportionately affecting young and middle-age adults.

H1N1, also known as swine flu, is the pandemic strain of the flu that started circulating around the globe in 2009 and emerged to cause the first global pandemic in more than 40 years that resulted in substantial illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

ON THE WEB: CDC — Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine

This year’s flu vaccine will protect against H1N1, and Cody says the best protection is to get vaccinated.

“Because we’re seeing the flu really pick up, we just want people to be protected,” said Dr. Sara Cody, a spokeswoman with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

Other preventive measures include covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using tissues and discarding them in a trash receptacle, scrubbing hands often with soap and water, using alcohol-based hand cleaners, and staying home from work or school if you have flu-like symptoms.

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Preventative tips

• Get vaccinated

• Wash hands frequently

• Avoid touching your face

• Disinfect any surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu

• Avoid close contact with sick people

• Get lots of rest and exercise

• Manage stress

• Eat healthy food and drink plenty of fluids

• Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing

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ON THE WEB

CDC Flu Site
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

Preventing Seasonal Flu With Vaccination
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/index.htm

Resources for Parents and Child Caregivers
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/parents/

Google Flu Tracker
http://www.google.org/flutrends/us/#US/

California Health Dept Flu Info
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/pages/influenza(flu).aspx

Alameda County Health Dept. (Flu Info: 888-604-4636)
http://www.acphd.org/

Contra Costa County Health Dept.
http://www.cchealth.org/

Marin County Health Dept.
http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/HH/main/index.cfm

Napa County Health Dept. (Flu Hotline: 707-253-4540)
http://www.countyofnapa.org/HHSA/

San Francisco County Health Dept.
http://www.sfdph.org/

San Mateo County Health Dept.
http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/site/health

Santa Clara County Health Dept. (Flu Info: 408-885-3980)
http://www.sccgov.org/sites/sccphd/en-us/Pages/default.aspx

Santa Cruz County Health Dept.
http://www.santacruzhealth.org/

Solano County Health Dept.
http://www.co.solano.ca.us/depts/hss/default.asp

Sonoma County Health Dept. (Flu Line: 707-565-4477)
http://www.sonoma-county.org/health/

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(Copyright 2014, KRON 4 and wire reports, All rights reserved.)

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