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H1N1 claims life of Stanislaus County man

POSTED August 11, 2009 11:05 p.m.
A second confirmed fatality from the H1N1 virus was recorded in Stanislaus County, according to county health officials.
The second Stanislaus County resident to fall victim to the influenza virus, also known as the swine flu, was a 37-year-old man. The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency did not release the man’s name, hometown, or if he had any underlying health problems.
The man had been hospitalized locally since July 25. He died on Monday said County Health Officer Dr. John Walker.
“We would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family of this patient,” Walker said. “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.”  
Stanislaus County recorded its first H1N1-related fatality on July 1 when a 21-year-old Ceres woman died from complications of the virus.
As of Aug. 5, there have been a total of 892 hospitalized individuals with the H1N1 virus in California and 92 confirmed deaths. In Stanislaus County there have been 35 individuals hospitalized for H1N1.
Walker said the majority of people who have been infected with the virus experience only mild to moderate symptoms.
“However,” Walker said, “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.”  
There currently is no vaccine available against the H1N1 virus, but scientists have started clinical trials and hope to have one in place by late fall or early winter when flu season is at a peak.
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.
The H1N1 virus was declared a pandemic in June when it rapidly spread around the globe after making its first appearance in Mexico in April. The United Nations World Health Organization estimates that as many as two billion people could be affected by the virus.
The California Department of Public Health changed the reporting requirements for H1N1 as of July 16. Local health agencies are now only required to track and report only hospitalized and fatal cases.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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