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Melanoma Cases Soar in Marin County

Update: 23-Year-Old Sonoma County Resident Among Flu Victims, Bringing Bay Area Total to 10

Two Marin County residents have died of complications related to the flu.

This CDC map tracks the flu outbreak nationally as of the last week of 2013.
This CDC map tracks the flu outbreak nationally as of the last week of 2013.
Updated 2:50 P.M.:

By Bay City News Service and Patch Staff — A 23-year-old Sonoma County resident is the latest Bay Area flu victim, bringing the current total of deaths to ten.

Also on Thursday, it was reported that a woman in her 40s in San Mateo County died, and that an Alameda County resident died in December. On Wednesday it was reported that two recent deaths in Marin County have been linked to the flu and another two in Santa Cruz County.

A 63-year-old man with significant chronic medical conditions died 
on Dec. 27, and a previously healthy 48-year-old woman died of an 
influenza-related complication on Jan. 6, Marin County Public Health Officer 
Dr. Matt Willis said.

Both were hospitalized in intensive care, and neither had received 
a flu vaccine, Willis said.

Six other flu patients, most of them young or middle-aged adults, 
have been hospitalized in the county, Willis said.

(Read more in the Marin County blog here.)

In the Santa Cruz cases, both people were under age 65 and lab tests have not 
yet confirmed that the deaths are flu-related, the spokeswoman said. A 48-year-old Contra Costa woman's death was also flu-related and a 41-year-old Santa Clara woman's death right before Christmas was attributed to the illness. Another death in Santa Clara was reported Thursday, a 61-year-old man.

The predominant influenza virus nationally and in Marin County in 
the 2013-14 flu season is A H1N1, the same virus that caused the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic, according to the Marin County Public Health Department.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the H1N1 
virus continues to circulate widely, and illnesses are disproportionately 
affecting young and middle-age adults.

California Influenza Report Highlights (as of Dec. 28)
• Outpatient influenza-like illness increased in Week 52 (3.4%) compared to Week 51 (2.6%) (of 2013).
• Of 1,945 specimens tested during Week 52,
442 (22.7%) were positive for influenza virus; of these 23 (5.2%) were influenza B and 419 (94.8%) were influenza A
• 3 (0.7%) were subtyped as seasonal A (H3)
• 72 (17.2%) were subtyped as 2009 A (H1)
• 344 (82.1%) were not subtyped.

Public health officials are urging residents to get a flu shot if 
they haven't already. (Click here to find a flu shot provider nearest you.) This year's vaccine protects against H1N1 and other 
influenza strains.

Here's a list of flu symptoms.

Preventive measures include covering the mouth and nose when 
coughing or sneezing, using tissues and discarding them in a trash 
receptacle, scrubbing hands often with soap and water, using alcohol-based 
hand cleaners, and staying home from work or school if you have flu-like 
symptoms.
novato 3per January 10, 2014 at 09:29 AM
Thanks for posting this Kari. One question that's not been answered by ANY reports I've seen or heard is whether these victims had any pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems - were they in perfect health and then died?
Kari Hulac January 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM
You're welcome! According to CDC, this version of the H1N1 virus is "disproportionately affecting young and middle-age adults." The health departments don't always disclose that information but it appears that a couple of the victims, including the 23-year-old, did not have pre-existing conditions. They had not received flu shots, either.
Sharon collins January 10, 2014 at 09:48 PM
I just wish my girls would listen to me and get the flu shot. They think it will make them sick. I'm so pissed at them Why on earth would they want to take a chance of death over a few days of being a little under the weather. You kids no matter how old need to listen to you MOTHER>
novato 3per January 10, 2014 at 10:10 PM
I hear you Sharon, they say it's a 60% chance of protecting you from the viruses that are out there, which is better than none. I got my shot, but I still hesitate when it comes to mankind thinking it can do better than mother nature, and then the chance for error when it comes to the human elements involved, from production to administration of the vaccines. My little ones were accidentally given adult immunizations when they should have received children's versions - so far they seem ok, but that pissed me off!

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