Capistrano woman, 28, dies of H1N1 flu

Saturday, January 4, 2014
By Paul Martin

She had other health issues and is the first O.C. resident under age 65 to die of the virus this season as a deadly flu strain makes a comeback.

Jan. 3, 2014

A 28-year-old woman from San Juan Capistrano is the first Orange County resident under 65 to die of the influenza virus during the 2013-14 flu season, county health officials said Thursday.

The woman, whose name was not disclosed, contracted the H1N1 strain of the flu, which made the 2009-10 season particularly deadly. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that between 43 million and 89 million people were infected with that strain during the 2009-10 season, causing between 8,870 and 18,300 deaths.

There were 57 deaths in Orange County that season from H1N1, a nasty strain that hit young people unusually hard.

Strains of the virus tend to change slightly from year to year, returning and then subsiding, said Dr. Matthew Zahn, medical director of the Division of Epidemiology and Assessment program with the county’s Health Care Agency. The good news is that the seasonal flu vaccine guards against three strains of the virus, including H1N1. That strain has been included every year since the 2010-11 season.

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