The Sarasota County Health Department reports today it has received laboratory confirmation of a seventh H1N1 (swine) flu-related death in the county.
This victim was a 51-year-old male with underlying medical conditions.
Manatee Count has recorded three H1N1 deaths since the pandemic started.
“Flu activity remains less than expected for this time of year; however, H1N1 influenza is still present in our community,” said Dr. William Heymann, medical executive director for the Sarasota County Health Department. “It can be a serious and even fatal disease especially in children, pregnant women and among those living with chronic health conditions.”
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Everyone is urged to continue to take important actions to help reduce flu illness in the community:
• Get the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine if you have not already been immunized. Residents getting the vaccine will be protected within about two weeks of vaccination. The health department continues to offer free H1N1 flu vaccines on weekdays during established hours on a walk-in basis at their Sarasota and Venice clinics. Parents are reminded that children under age 10 need two doses of the vaccine given 28 days apart.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
• Wash hands for 20 seconds using soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective against the flu.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth before washing your hands. Germs spread this way.
• Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or otherwise appear ill. • Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home from school or daycare if they are sick.
• Continue to stay healthy and informed. Call the Flu Information Line at (941) 861-2800 for information about where to get an H1N1 flu vaccine, or visit www.sarasotahealth.org.