Concord Girl's Death Blamed on Swine Flu

A 9-year-old Concord girl who had been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus died Friday, marking the Bay Area's first swine flu-related death.

Contra Costa Health Services announced the child's death today after a state laboratory confirmed Wednesday that she had the H1N1 virus in addition to a secondary bacterial infection, Contra Costa Public Health  Director Dr. Wendel Brunner said.

The coroner's office confirmed it is investigating the death along with the health department, but the child's official cause of death is pending further test results.

The state Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to determine the exact role the H1N1 virus played in the death, Brunner said.

Brunner said the county has identified only 90 probable cases of swine flu through laboratory testing, but that health officials stopped testing most suspected cases of the virus several weeks ago and believe there  are at least several times that number in the county.

Swine flu has been blamed for three deaths in California and at least 20 deaths nationwide, Brunner said.

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