Stanislaus County – Stanislaus County health officials announce that a 29-year-old post partum female has died from complications of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus on August 26. In addition, a 45-year-old female has also died on the same day, from complications of H1N1. Both patients had been hospitalized. These deaths bring the total to five fatalities due to H1N1 in Stanislaus County.
“We would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the families of these two patients,” stated Cleopathia Moore, Associate Director and the Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Director at the Health Services Agency. “We are particularly concerned about pregnant women. It is important that they remain vigilant in protecting themselves from being exposed to the H1N1 virus.”
Severity of the H1N1 illness is similar to the seasonal flu, which means that in some people it can be serious and even fatal. In California, and here in Stanislaus County, people have been hospitalized from H1N1, and unfortunately, health officials expect to see more hospitalizations and deaths.
In Stanislaus County, the median age of hospitalized patients is around 30, and over 50% of them are women. Health officials are especially concerned about women who are pregnant and children under the age of five, who are at higher risk for complications from the flu. In addition to working with the schools, Public Health officials have been communicating with perinatal providers in Stanislaus County, providing them with a fax broadcast on information and guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on H1N1 and pregnancy. Public information from CDC on “What pregnant women should know about H1N1” will also be posted on the County’s website.
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 the at risk population obtain the H1N1 vaccine when it is available. In addition, as the flu season is quickly approaching, public health officials are reminding the public to get the seasonal flu vaccine for prevention of the seasonal flu. County residents should continue to take the following precautions to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 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, which 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:
– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov