June 18, 2009
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) today stressed that county residents should take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the spread of the H1N1 Influenza virus, but that they should not panic or use emergency departments unless they have severe symptoms .
Severe symptoms include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting; or flu like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worse cough.
“We understand people are concerned after the first H1N1 Influenza-related death in our community,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego County Public Health Officer. “The loss of any human life is tragic and we again send our deepest condolences to the family.
“But I need to remind the public that each year about 36,000 people in the United States die from the seasonal flu. It’s unfortunate to see a death related to H1N1 Influenza but we expect more cases here and throughout the U.S.”
The woman’s death was the first H1N1-related death in San Diego County and there have been 8 deaths in California.
There are now 290 confirmed H1N1 cases and 25 hospitalizations in San Diego County.
“Currently, there is no vaccine for H1N1. The best protection for people is to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands thoroughly and frequently,” said Wooten.
“If you are experiencing influenza-like illness, stay at home and do not go to school or work and do not travel. You should stay at home for seven days or until a day after the symptoms have disappeared.
Email Updates Get County news and information delivered to your inbox