According to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, the number of cases of the H1N1 virus is on the rise. Last week, the county released news that four people who had passed away later tested positive for the flu formerly known as Swine. The four new cases put the total number, countywide, to 61 known cases of H1N1.
Those deceased include three males, aged 39, 45, and 56, and a 37-year-old female. Of the four, two had "underlying" medical conditions.
"Fifty-four individuals were San Diego County residents while the other seven were nonresidents visiting our community at the time of their death," read the press release. "San Diego County has had 771 hospitalized cases of H1N1 to date."
The H1N1 virus is spread through coughs and sneezes like other seasonal flu viruses. In June of 2009, a month after San Diego County health officials detected the first case here, the World Health Organization declared the virus a worldwide pandemic. The main difference between the flu and the H1N1 strain is most people don't have a strong enough immunity system to fight the new virus.
The press release went on to say that the H1N1 vaccine is now available to all San Diego County residents through their primary health-care providers. And for those without health insurance, or short of the money needed to visit their primary physician, the vaccines are available at one of the county's seven "vaccination sites" or at local community health centers.
So far, through December 18, more than 985,000 doses of the H1N1 Flu Vaccine have been filled in San Diego County.
To find out more about the H1N1 flu virus in San Diego County, or to find out information about vaccinations, visit the county website: sdcounty.ca.gov/Portal/News/swineflu.html.