Woman in Her 40s is Contra Costa County's Latest Flu Death

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    A Contra Costa County woman died recently from complications related to the flu, county health officials said Wednesday.

    The woman was in her 40s and died sometime over the past month, Contra Costa County Health Services spokeswoman Kate Fowlie said.

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    She was the seventh person in the county under 65 years old to die from the flu since December, Fowlie said.

    At least some of those cases were confirmed to be the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, the spokeswoman said.

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    The virus first surfaced in the U.S. in 2009, prompting the first global pandemic in more than 40 years as well as numerous hospitalizations and deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The Contra Costa County death increases the Bay Area's toll to 49 flu deaths since the beginning of this flu season and 278 have been reported statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health.

    Most of the Californians under 65 who have died from the flu this season had underlying health conditions, according to state health officials.

    The health department is recommending that all residents get vaccinated against the flu.

    Bay Area flu deaths:

    • Alameda County: 6
    • Contra Costa County: 7
    • Marin County: 2
    • Napa County: 1
    • San Francisco County: 3
    • San Mateo County: 6
    • Santa Clara County: 15
    • Solano County: 3
    • Sonoma County: 6