48-year-old Contra Costa County Woman Dies from Flu Virus

January 7, 2014 20:00 pm · 31 comments

A 48-year-old woman who died earlier this week is Contra Costa County’s first flu death of the season, county health officials said today.

Contra Costa Health Services spokeswoman Kate Fowlie said the woman had underlying health conditions in addition to being infected with the H1N1 virus.

The woman, whose name is not being released, was one of 17 people under 65 years old in Contra Costa County who have been hospitalized with the virus this flu season, according to Fowlie.

The H1N1 virus — sometimes called swine flu — surfaced in the United States in 2009, causing the first global pandemic in more than 40 years and resulting in a number of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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J. January 7, 2014 at 6:16 PM

R.I.P. young lady. Under 65 is too young to die.

Not to late January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

It’s not too late to get a flu shot. It reduces your chance of contracting the flu virus and spreading it.

Not *too late January 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Not TOO late!

Angelica January 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

This is sad. Only 48 yrs. old. May she R.I.P.

Kirk January 7, 2014 at 6:39 PM

If you want to give yourself the willies read up on the great flu pandemic of 1918.

We are temporary, hug someone you love.

@J, January 7, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Your statement ,”Under 65 is to young to
die”, is supercilious at best.

Shasta Daisy January 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Seems like a bad year for flu and cold viruses.

Prayers to her family and friends.
Life is so precious.

Amy January 7, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Supposedly people over 60 have been exposed to what was called Swine Flu in the 50’s or 60’s and thus have some immunity.

Silva January 7, 2014 at 7:49 PM

I wonder if she had a flu shot. It seems like many people with underlying conditions do. I know I do. Just wondering. My condolences to family and friends. So sad.

@@J. January 7, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Why the snark? You just learn a new word or something? J.’s comment seems so reasonable.

Julie January 7, 2014 at 7:57 PM

not meaning to sound insensitive, but “underlying health conditions” says it all. If she were a normal healthy 48 yr old (who had perhaps NOT had a flu shot) then this would be headline news….

mika January 7, 2014 at 8:28 PM

What underlying conditions would affect a person’s response to the flu? I am asking this question seriously, not faciously.

@Mika January 7, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Some of the underlying health problems could be asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease or weakened immune systems.

Eddie spaghetti January 7, 2014 at 11:50 PM

Just got my flu shot today!

ChampagneKitty January 8, 2014 at 1:29 AM

Congratulations, Eddie spaghetti!

First there was the 41 year old in Santa Clara County and now a 48 year old in Contra Costa County who died from influenza. This is disturbing. I am 43 years old with underlying health conditions, so this could easily be me. I do get a flu shot every year.

Anonymous January 8, 2014 at 3:23 AM

I absolutely HATE “news” reports like this – they only serve to scare the ignorant, who, unfortunately, make up a good percentage of the population. The woman who died could have well been a junkie with HIV/AIDS – hell, an untreated cat scratch could kill someone like that, but without any details of her medical history, what idiot won’t assume she was perfectly healthy before contacting the flu? I hope the fear of swine flu drives the price of bacon down, as the masses grow more afraid of death-by-pig, because I really love bacon and would love to pay less for it.

West Nile verse the Flu January 8, 2014 at 4:49 AM

Every year we see so many stories on West Nile. Report dead birds etc. On and on. When you are I believe 700 times more likely to die of the flu than West Nile on average. I am sorry for the loss of life. Also, I believe the Flu deserves much more attention so lives can be saved. Seems the media focuses on West Nile more for ratings a than actual public health concerns, or the flu would get much more press, and West Nile much less. I compare West Nile to the Great White shark of diseases. What are the numbers? Over 30,000 a year die of flu related causes, less than 100 of West Nile??? I am way more concerned about the flu. And try to avoid getting it. West Nile is hardly on my radar as a worry, even after food poisoning. And as said above, humans do build up resistance, even immunity to some diseases. I think in many cases we are doing a disservice in the long run with all these shots and fear of germs etc. I never forget that man who studied germs, was so afraid he wore a mask. Until one day he went outside without his mask and dropped dead he was so vulnerable to the slightest germ. Roaches live in germs, and they will probably be the only thing that survives a germ warfare or nuclear war.

Z Man January 8, 2014 at 4:58 AM

The one time I received the shot…. I got sick. Am not using that as my baseline of the vaccine, but no more vaccine for me . 35 years young.

Old Fart January 8, 2014 at 6:42 AM

Claycordians, Just remember that if you have flu symptoms the Tamiflu is most effective when started in the first 48 hours. After that the effectiveness decreases quickly.

Cowellian January 8, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Flu kills! In Nashville, nine people have already died from the flu this season.

I get my flu shot every year.

Peggy January 8, 2014 at 7:26 AM

People have died from the flu in Oregon as well… please people, get a flu shot. There is no live virus in the shots, you will not get the flu from the shot. Yes, you will get a sore arm 🙂 Could save your life. Anyone who has had the “real” flu will tell you, you do not want to get it. Stay Alive, Stay Healthy, get the darned flu shot!

Flu Info. January 8, 2014 at 8:01 AM
$5 says she got a flu shot January 8, 2014 at 8:56 AM

H1N1, Bird Flu, Hamster Flu, etc are part of a massive flu shot marketing campaign. Influenza kills 1000’s a year, regardless if one gets a flu shot or not.

West Nile verse the Flu January 8, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Any numbers on flu shot success are flawed, as well as death rates etc. simply for the fact some people never see a doctor, or rarely see one. Some only see one when they are gravely ill. Same with West Nile as well. But West Nile is looked for, tested for, the flu not so much. You are sent home usually. So we cannot be sure of any numbers regarding the flu or how well flu shots work or not. How many never get a flu shot and rarely if ever see a doctor? So how would we know?

tired of taxes January 8, 2014 at 10:10 AM
Silva January 8, 2014 at 10:31 AM

@I’ve been geting yearly flu shots @ 20 years. I used to get everything by boy came home from school. That all stopped when I got my first shot.

anonmtz January 8, 2014 at 12:52 PM


By taking the time to type out the word “supercilious” to defile someone else……. may make one appear to be “contemptuous and arrogant”.

Get a shot, and a life…..

ricardo January 8, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Could we at least find out what area of CC County they are talking about. I dont need to know her name but would like to know if she is from Brentwood or Richmond.

Mimi (original) January 8, 2014 at 11:12 PM

Jeez! The last time someone died of one of these outrageous designer flues several SNF’s and B&C’s were shuttered for weeks! Wings of several hospitals, too!

Patty January 9, 2014 at 8:29 AM

@anonymous This woman was a very good friend of mine. SHE WAS NOT A JUNKIE WITH HIV/AIDS!!!!! She has endured horrendous pain and suffering for decades due to a medical condition that is none of your damn business. A bit of compassion for her and her family are in order here.

@Patty January 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM

@Patty Unfortunately, this women did have several underlying problems. I am a family member of her’s. After several battles with alcoholism her immune system was substantially weakened. I wish the news would release this so people could understand the damage that alcohol does to the immune system, and understand that there is nothing to fear from this virus, when your immune system is functioning properly.

I am sorry that you did not know her as well as you thought you did, but the important thing to remember here is for people, especially those advanced in age, to keep their immune systems functioning at a high level during flu season.

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