Second swine flu-related death in Contra Costa County

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

— staff reports


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Jun 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I love how Brunner tried in every way possible to make swine flu seem no different than any other flu. That was as artfully worded as a politician would do. And he's wrong and he knows it. All doctors recognize that the swine flu is unique on two key aspects. Let me first say where it is not unique. It is not unique in that it kills. All flus kill some people. The swine flu is not killing more people as of yet. The seasonal flu kills far more than the swine flu has yet. But, here's the rub. The swine flu has struck in the hot season, when the seasonal flu can not exist because it is too weak. That's why we don't get flus now. But, the swine flu has shown itself to be extremely virulent during the spring and summer season, which means it will be far more potent than the normal flu during the flu season. The closest thing to the swine flu is the 1918 Spanish Flu. That killed thirty million people worldwide. It struck first during the hot season, killing a relative few, but baffling doctors because it struck outside of the flu season. It also shared a characteristic with the swine flu in that it kills all ages, not just elders or people with pre-existing health issues. The Spanish Flu came back around that winter and laid waste. Am I saying that this is going to be as bad? No. Could it be. I hope not, but yes it could. Your best bet is to have gotten it now, when its at its weakest, so that your body learns to stave it off, self-vaccinate. We need to consider how this disease got to this country, especially this state, and we need to consider the future ones to come.

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