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H1N1 claims life of Merced County woman

POSTED September 11, 2009 9:48 p.m.
Merced county recorded its second confirmed death from the H1N1 virus with the passing of a 58-year-old Los Banos woman.
The woman died Monday, according to the Merced County Department of Public Health. They reported that the woman had been previously diagnosed with underlying medical conditions. She was seen at a Los Banos hospital until Aug. 24, when she was transferred to another hospital, where she was put into an intensive care unit.
“We would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family of this patient,” said Dr. Timothy Livermore, Merced County Public Health Officer. “This is an unfortunate reminder that pandemic flu is in our community. The County Health Department has been taking this pandemic seriously and continues to conduct ongoing flu response activities for pandemic as well as seasonal flu.”
As of Monday, Merced County has recorded two deaths and 20 hospitalizations from the H1N1 virus. As of Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health reported 47 people were hospitalized in Stanislaus County with the H1N1 virus and five people have died from the virus. Statewide, the department reported 1,806 hospitalizations and 152 deaths.
A vaccine for the H1N1 virus is expected to be available by mid-October. Originally, it was thought people would have to have one shot and then a booster shot a few weeks later to make the vaccine effective, but the latest results from the National Institutes of Health indicate one should suffice.
“We are encouraged by reports that are now emerging from various clinical trials of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines, conducted by various vaccine manufacturers,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases. “We expect additional companies to announce their preliminary trial results shortly. The early data from these trials indicate that 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines are well tolerated and induce a strong immune response in most healthy adults when administered in a single unadjuvanted 15-microgram dose.”
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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