Tuesday, August 11, 2009

County reports second swine flu death

Below is a press release on the second swine flu-related death in Stanislaus County, a 37-year-old man. Here is our story on the first.

The county likely won't release any info on this man's identity aside from what's in the news release. If anyone has any information on the man, please contact me at james@pattersonirrigator.com or call 892-6187.


Second Death from H1N1 Flu in Stanislaus County

Stanislaus County – Stanislaus County health officials announce that a 37-year-old male has died on August 10 from complications of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, while hospitalized. His death is the second in Stanislaus County involving a person with the H1N1 virus. “We would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family of this patient," stated Dr. John Walker, County Health Officer. “We are grieved by this second death, and his death reminds us that the H1N1 virus is widespread and among us. Although this should not be cause for alarm, everyone should remain vigilant in helping to prevent the spread of H1N1.”

The vast majority of cases have mild or moderate illness, and most patients fully recover. “However,” Dr. Walker adds, “the tragic California H1N1 deaths this spring and summer reveal that we are still in the early stages of a global influenza pandemic, and we need to continue precautions to protect ourselves, our families, our co-workers, and our community.”

Effective July 16, the California Department of Public Health changed the reporting requirements for individual case reporting for H1N1 influenza by local health jurisdictions (Local Health Departments).

New reporting requirements will track only hospitalized and fatal cases. Non-hospitalized case reporting is no longer needed at this stage of the pandemic. As of August 5 this year, there have been a total of 892 hospitalized cases and 92 deaths in California. In Stanislaus County, there have been 35 hospitalized cases.

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against the novel H1N1 virus. Vaccine is in production and should be available by late fall-early winter. It is important that county residents take the following precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbows, sleeves, or with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue after each use. Coughing into hands can spread germs to others.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, even after washing your hands.
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• Stay home and away from others if you are sick.

The symptoms of H1N1 Influenza in humans are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 influenza.

If a person has these symptoms, here are some simple steps to follow:

• It is not necessary to be tested for the virus in most cases.
• Contact your healthcare provider by phone, especially if you are pregnant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema.
• Ask your healthcare provider about medications that may help relieve the symptoms of the flu.
• Stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (100° F or 37.8°C), or signs of a fever without use of fever–reducing medications.
• Get plenty of rest and drink clear liquids.
• Avoid close contact with others.

For more information about the H1N1 virus, please visit the following websites:

• Stanislaus County website at www.stanemergency.com
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov
• The California Department of Public Health at www.cdph.ca.gov

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