2 More Dead From Flu in Santa Clara County; Bay Area Death Tolls Climbs

Two more people have died of the flu in Santa Clara County, health officials confirmed Monday, bringing the tally of H1N1-related deaths to four this season in Santa Clara County.

That is the highest death toll tally of any county in the Bay Area.

Santa Clara County Dept. of Health spokeswoman Amy Cornell said the two new deaths include a 62-year-old and a 61-year-old. No other details were immediately released.

Cornell added that there are 13 more severe cases in Santa Clara County, where the patients are hospitalized with the flu.

Health officials in San Mateo County and Sonoma County also reported a new flu-related death Monday, the county's second.

That brings the total number of flu-related deaths in the Bay Area this year to at least 15, plus three more in nearby Santa Cruz County, with one occurring over the weekend.

The list of deaths in the nine Bay Area counties so far include:

  • Santa Clara County 4 deaths
  • Alameda County 3 deaths
  • Marin County 2 deaths
  • San Mateo County 2 deaths
  • San Francisco 1 death
  • Contra Costa County 1 death
  • Sonoma County 2 deaths
  • Napa County 0 deaths

While Santa Clara County has the highest number, one death in Sonoma County was among the most notable.

That's because the flu claimed the life of 23-year-old Matthew Walker who went into Kaiser Permanente on Dec. 27, after he reported not being able to breathe, and was sent home after being diagnosed with pneumonia, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Typically, the flu affects the very young and the very old. Only flu cases in people that are younger than 65 are reported to the state.

Turns out, he had H1N1 and died on Jan. 8, leaving his friends and family devastated. He is survived by his parents, as well as four brothers and a sister.

For more information on flu prevention, click here.

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

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