Two Confirmed Flu-Related Deaths in San Bernardino County

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health released info Friday about the flu-related deaths of a man and woman this week, and officials said they are the first of this influenza season.

The deaths occurred this week in Rancho Cucamonga and Bloomington, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, the county's health officer, told Patch in a phone interview Jan. 10.

The victims tested positive for the H1N1 strain, Ohikhuare said.

The man and the woman were both between ages 21 and 65, and both had other medical issues, Ohikhuare said. He declined to release other details because the department's primary goal is to urge everyone countywide to get flu shots.

On Thursday, Riverside County health officials confirmed a 30-year-old Coachella Valley man who died this week tested positive for H1N1.

Here's the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health's full statement:

The County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health has confirmation of its first two flu-related deaths this influenza season.

"The families have our sincerest condolences," said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer.
Almost every state in the US has reported widespread geographic influenza activity.

an Bernardino County like the rest of California has seen an accelerated increase in flu activity over the past few weeks. You can help prevent further spread of the flu by getting a flu shot," stated Dr. Ohikhuare.

It's not too late to get a flu shot because it will still provide protection this flu season, which has yet to peak in California. A seasonal flu shot is recommended every year to all persons age 6 months and older, to help protect you, your family and the community from the flu.

The flu is caused by the influenza viruses and is easily spread from one person to another. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can lead to hospitalization and even death.

A seasonal flu shot is especially recommended for these high risk groups:

- P
eople 50 years of age and older

- P
eople who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities

- P
eople of any age with chronic medical conditions, including asthmatics and diabetics

- Pr
egnant women

- H
ome caregivers and health care workers

- Inf
ants and children* age 6 months up to their 19th birthday

epending on previous vaccination history, children aged 6 months through 8 years may be required to receive two doses of influenza vaccine

n addition to getting the flu vaccine, prevent the spread of illness by following these steps:

ough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues

oid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth

h your hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze. Alcohol- based hand sanitizers may be used if soap and water are not available

oid close contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

Contact your medical provider for treatment options

For information about community clinic locations and times, please visit the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health website at
www.sbcounty.gov/dph, or call the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to find a location near you.

For more info about H1N1 and influenza visitwww.cdc.gov/CDCTV/SwineFlu.


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