San Bernardino County reports 3 more Swine Flu-related deaths

San Bernardino County is reporting three more deaths related to the H1N1 or “Swine Flu” virus. The deaths include a 4-month-old baby. KPCC’s Steven Cuevas has more on the victims, and what the county is doing to prevent more flu-related fatalities.

Steven Cuevas: Two of the victims were adults; a 25-year-old male, and a 43-year-old female. Both apparently had other health problems as well. The 4-year-old baby also suffered from an undisclosed illness. Doctor Maxwell Ohikuare is San Bernardino County’s chief officer.

Maxwell Ohikuare: It follows the same basic pattern of what we have seen in out county in terms of people with chronic medical illness. As you know we are not seeing old people die from this so far, most of what we’ve seen has been young and middle-aged people.

Cuevas: There’ve been 235 confirmed cases of Swine Flu in San Bernardino County. Eleven people have died, but most people experience typical flu symptoms and recover fully. Dr Ohikuare says hospitals are preparing for a possible surge of winter flu patients.

Ohikuare: Each place will have respective plans in terms of mitigation, how they’ll handle their health care workers, patients, visitors. So each hospital will have their own plan set.

Cuevas: San Bernardino county has already begun dispensing an H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. “FluMist” has proven most effective in healthy people under 50 years old. People with respiratory problems and kids under the age of 2 should stick with shots. Healthy pregnant women should also avoid the nasal spray.

Swine Flu shots should be available in San Bernardino County in about two weeks. Pharmacies and county clinics are already offering vaccines for regular seasonal flu. County health officials say everybody should get both types of vaccine if possible.

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