Wednesday, October 21, 2009

County's Second H1N1 Death

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:34 PM

From the Humbodlt County Office of Public Health, which adds only that the man died at Arcata's Mad River Hospital:

Local man's death believed to be related to H1N1

A man who tested positive for H1N1 Influenza died Wednesday in a Humboldt County hospital. Officials report he had underlying health conditions, and the precise cause of his death is unknown.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time," said Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ann Lindsay. To protect the man's privacy, no additional information about his case would be released.

This death is the second in Humboldt County believed to be related to H1N1. As of October 10, more than 3,000 Californians have been hospitalized with H1N1-related illnesses, and 219 have died.

Although most people with H1N1 influenza experience only mild illness, certain groups are at high risk for complications from flu. These include pregnant women, children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and people of all ages with underlying health disorders.

Public health efforts continue to focus on prevention measures, including a local vaccination plan for schoolchildren and other high-risk groups which will roll out as soon as sufficient quantities of H1N1 vaccine have been received.

"Until the vaccine arrives, common-sense prevention measures are the best defense," said Susan Buckley, director of the Public Health Branch of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Buckley reminded residents to cover coughs and wash hands frequently. Additionally, she said, anyone suffering from respiratory or other flu-like symptoms is encouraged to stay home and away from other people to avoid transmission.

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