Woman in Her 40s Dies in Peninsula’s First Flu-Related Death of Season

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SAN MATEO CO. (KRON) — Peninsula health officials have reported San Mateo county’s first flu-related death of the season.

A woman in her 40s died after contracting the flu, and there have been six other flu-related hospitalizations in the county, health officials said.

The H1N1 influenza strain, known as “swine flu” when it first emerged in 2009, appears to be the main strain afflicting people this flu season.

Peak flu season is between January and March.

Health officials are urging vaccinations for everyone ages 6 months and older. This year’s vaccine protects against H1N1.

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 that a 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.

READ: Bay Area Flu Season: Resource Links and More

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.

(Copyright 2014, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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