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Fourth Flu Death Reported in Alameda County

by Bay City News

Three more flu-related deaths were recorded in Santa Clara County and Alameda County today as state Department of Public Health officials confirmed there have been 50 more influenza deaths in people under 65 throughout the state as of last week. In Alameda County, there have been four flu deaths in people under 65 between Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, county health department spokeswoman Sherri Willis said today.

Three of those people had contracted the H1N1 strain of the flu, known as "swine flu," according to Willis. All of the fatalities involved people with underlying medical conditions. Only one of the four had been vaccinated, Willis said. A 58-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man died after contracting the flu in Santa Clara County, according to county Department of Public Health spokeswoman Amy Cornell said. There have been eight flu deaths in the county this season, Cornell said. State health officials released the latest figures of flu activity today and reported there have been 95 confirmed deaths in those under 65, including three pediatric deaths, since the season started. There were 50 more confirmed flu deaths reported in the week since Jan. 11 and 51 others that have not yet been confirmed throughout the state, according to state health officials. Last flu season, there were 106 flu-related deaths throughout the state.

Information from Bay Area county health departments indicates there have been 33 flu-related deaths in the region as of today. Particularly vulnerable populations, including the sick, elderly, infants and pregnant women, are advised to take precautions against infection. Many of the deaths this year have been connected to the H1N1 flu strain, which is considered more dangerous for young adults and middle-age adults compared to other strains. State health officials are encouraging all residents to get vaccinated. There are vaccines available statewide and there are no reported shortages of anti-viral medication, state health officials said.

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