Kern County Has First Human Death From H1N1 Flu

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Dr. Claudia Jonah, Kern County’s Health Officer announced today, the county’s first pandemic H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) related casualty. A 37 year-old female resident died after being hospitalized with the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 flu virus. The woman had other underlying conditions which may have put her at risk for severe H1N1 illness. Health officials will not be releasing the identity of the patient.

“On behalf of myself and my staff, I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased,” Dr. Jonah said. “As we have known, H1N1 is present throughout our community, as it is throughout the world. The vast majority of cases have mild or moderate illness, and patients recover. Tragically, in this case, the patient did not recover.”

This is the 153 person to die from pandemic (H1N1) 2009 flu in California. There have also been 16 hospitalizations in Kern County to date. The Kern County Department of Public Health is coordinating with state and federal agencies in conducting swine flu surveillance and implementing measures to lessen the impact of the flu virus.

“We expect that there will be more (H1N1) Swine Flu deaths throughout the United States and possibly Kern County, therefore, everyone should continue taking steps to prevent spreading and/or becoming ill with the flu, “cautioned Dr. Jonah.

Vaccine is now in production and may be available by fall or early winter. Residents can help prevent the spread germs by practicing the three “C’s” of disease prevention.

* Cover your cough


* Clean your hands

* Confine sick people at home If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we strongly encourage you to call your healthcare provider first. Please DO NOT go to a hospital emergency department unless your symptoms are severe.

* Have a fever higher than 100?F (37.8?C) and a cough and/or sore throat.

* Have had contact with a confirmed H1N1 (Swine) Influenza A case.

* Are in a high-risk setting for transmission (e.g. school, prison, camp or other residential institution)

* Is part of a cluster of people with Influenza-like illness.

People experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay home from work or school, limit contact with others and call their healthcare provider for advice and possible testing. Those who are ill with flu-like symptoms, but do not have healthcare coverage, should call 211.