Women Die of H1N1 Flu Virus in Contra Costa, Santa Clara Counties

Two Bay Area women have died so far this year as a result of the H1N1 virus, health departments reported.

The Contra Costa County Health Department said on Monday that a 48-year-old woman with underlying conditions has died of the H1N1 virus. The death, which officials said occurred in the past seven days, is the county's first flu-related death this flu season. The woman's city of residence is being withheld by officials at this time. Health officials also report 17 cases of severe flu in Contra Costa County this season.

The Santa Clara County Health Department on Friday also reported its first flu-related death this season -- a 41-year-old woman who died of the H1N1 virus on Dec. 23, 2013. Seven other severe flu cases have been reported to date in Santa Clara County.

MORE: First H1N1 Flu Death Reported in Santa Clara County

Marin County says 10 to 20 percent of people who have been tested for flu-like symptoms have tested positive for H1N1. Ten H1N1 cases have been reported there.

Seeing an overall spike in flu cases in California and across the country, officials are urging people to get their annual flu shots, the California Department of Public Health recently said.

Counties across the state and the nation are reporting an increase in the number of cases, particularly of the H1N1 virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009.

In addition to getting a vaccination, it is important to practice good health habits, including staying home when you’re sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, washing your hands with soap and water, eating a nutritious diet and getting enough sleep.

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