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Bay Area Flu Deaths On The Rise

Two recent deaths in Marin County have been linked to the flu and another two in Santa Cruz County are suspected of being flu-related.

Two recent deaths in Marin County have been linked to the flu and another two in Santa Cruz County are suspected of being flu-related. Courtesy Wikimedia
Two recent deaths in Marin County have been linked to the flu and another two in Santa Cruz County are suspected of being flu-related. Courtesy Wikimedia
—By Bay City News Service

Two recent deaths in Marin County have been linked to the flu and another two in Santa Cruz County are suspected of being flu-related, public health officials said today.

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.

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.

A 41-year-old woman who died Dec. 23, 2013 became Santa Clara County's first flu death of the season, according to Santa Clara County Public Health Department spokeswoman Amy Cornell.

The woman died due to the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, according to Cornell.

There have also been two confirmed flu deaths in Contra Costa County, according to health officials.

The predominant influenza virus nationally and in Marin County in the 2013-14 flu season is A H1N1, the same virus that caused the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic, according to the Marin County Public Health Department.

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.

Public health officials are urging residents to get a flu shot if they haven't already.

This year's vaccine protects against H1N1 and other influenza strains.

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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Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 09, 2014 at 01:07 AM
Just saw that on the News! This Winter has been quite a Tough one 4 me. Just got over Walking Pnemonia & still have 2 take things slow...
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) January 09, 2014 at 01:31 AM
@Irene ... sorry to hear it, my friend. Hope to see you soon in town. Take good care. Thanks for your support.
Ed Dee January 09, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Irene - you are not alone. Including myself, I know of at least 30+ people who have had walking pneumonia, and/or flu since September.
Brad West January 09, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Speedy healing to all. I too had the flue last week, lasted a few days, was a tough one, likely swine/H1N1 via the signs and symptoms I had. As a truth-seeker and a PCP, I have followed this issue closely and am appalled at media coverage like this. 4 people may have died from this flu? Thousands die every year and it used to be called "old mans friend" because it put to rest sick people who could not die, who were suffering. We know flu kills immuno-compromised people and that can be sad, but is nature in action or God, your choice. But to use the media to establish fear as a tool to sell more vaccines is what this is all about. And we should be outraged. To bring perspective, thousands of people died across the area this week as they do every week from hospital errors, infections, blunders, and worst of all most falls under the standard of care. Drugs and surgery and hospitals are the number one killer of Americans. Beware of this, be happy to get the flu and of course then have life time immunity and a much more robust immune system in the future. Thats how it works!
Ed Dee January 09, 2014 at 02:24 PM
Finally a voice of reason! Thank you so much for your post Brad.
Jim Van Camp January 09, 2014 at 06:32 PM
I consider myself lucky to be still alive after all the stuff I've had, pneumonia a couple of years ago. Still pretty healthy though, we have a pretty good lifestyle, walking the dogs twice a day, working, doing chores around the house. And getting flu shots! It's not too late to get one, do it!
Marilyn Leonard January 09, 2014 at 07:52 PM
I've had a flu shot every year since the late 80s and haven't had the flu ever in that time. I recommend the shots highly.
Brad West January 09, 2014 at 07:54 PM
Sorry, I really wish it were not true, but there is very little evidence that flu shots help. A review of properly done studies not biased by drug company money show little to no effect. 16% chance of "working" is the most accurate figure right now. And then you get a large dose of aluminum, some mercury, egg, yeast, dog kidney or monkey cells plus a ton of other nasty preservatives an chemicals. WHo knows what else. We have to trust the mega chemical and drug companies and the gov't. I dont think so. Bad track record. Plus, its good to get sick every once in a while, like getting sore muscles from working out.... good of us. See above.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 09, 2014 at 11:44 PM
Yes, I'm allergic 2 the Flu Shot. It gives me the Worst Flu. I'm a Athletic Trainer. I teach Aqua-Fit & "ZUMBA GOLD", Mon.-Fri. It was so good 2 get back at it after a Holiday Break of 3 weeks. Very Thankful 2 Get my Strength Back! 👍

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