More Flu-Related Deaths in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Health officials on Monday confirmed three new flu-related deaths, one in Sonoma County and two in Santa Clara County, bringing the Bay Area total of fatalities this flu season to 15.

The unidentified Santa Clara victims were 61- and 62-years old. The victim in Sonoma was 54. No other information was available at this time.

Earlier in the month, officials had announced that a 41-year-old Santa Clara woman died as a result of flu-related complications marking the county’s first flu death of the season. The woman was reportedly already severely ill when she sought medical attention.

SPECIAL SECTION: Bay Area Flu Season: Resource Links and More

This particular case raised concerns among health officials because the victim was so young.

A spokeswoman with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department said that it is more common for people over 65 to get complications from flu and to die of the flu. The county tracks cases of flu complications in people over 65 because it is less common for younger people, Dr. Sara Cody said.

“The individual that died, we actually don’t have a medical history to know whether she had anything that would have put her at increased risk,” Cody said.

H1N1, also known as swine flu, is the pandemic strain of the flu that started circulating around the globe in 2009.

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,” Cody said.

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

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