A middle-aged Contra Costa County man with H1N1 (swine flu) has died. His death is the second in the county involving a person with the virus, county health officials confirmed Wednesday.
The man had no other identified major health conditions, said Contra Costa Public Health Director Dr. Wendel Brunner. An elementary school-aged child with H1N1 also died on May 29 in Contra Costa. There is no known connection between the two people. Health officials will not be releasing the identity of either person.
"We are saddened by this man's death," Dr. Brunner said. "His death reminds us that even though most of the H1N1 cases in Contra Costa and the state have been mild or moderate, all flu viruses can be deadly and everyone should remain vigilant in helping to prevent the spread of H1N1 and seasonal flu."
There have been at least eight deaths with H1N1 infection in California to date and at least 44 deaths around the United States.
"Unfortunately," said Dr. Brunner, "we anticipate that there will be more deaths throughout the United States and California before this outbreak ends."
In Contra Costa to date, there are 120 confirmed H1N1 cases and 109 probable identified by the Contra Costa Public Health Laboratory. It is estimated that there are hundreds of cases in Contra Costa and only cases involving hospitalization and fatalities are being tested now. The vast majority of these cases have been mild to moderate illness, and the patients recover.
There is currently no vaccine available to protect against the novel H1N1 virus. Everyone can help prevent the spread of H1N1 by staying home from work, school and public events if sick; washing hands often; covering coughs; and contacting your health care provider if you or your family member has flu-like symptoms.
For more information about the H1N1 virus in Contra Costa, including a podcast, visit www.cchealth.org