Health 10-8

The Santa Barbara Public Health Department announced that a female adolescent died on 10/3 from a probable case of H1N1 influenza, marking the first reported swine flu-related death in Santa Barbara County. The young girl, who suffered from a variety of chronic medical conditions prior to hospitalization, was admitted to Cottage Hospital on 9/18 and had developed pneumonia and sepsis prior to her death. Officials stated that the public health laboratory tested a specimen from the patient and confirmed the H1N1 influenza strain. As of press time, her death is being treated as a probable H1N1 case pending further testing at the state public health laboratory.

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The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department released information on 10/2 explaining the details of flu vaccines. According to the press release, nearly everyone is encouraged to receive a seasonal flu vaccine, and specific groups are deemed a priority for H1N1 vaccine administration, such as pregnant women and those with chronic health problems. For additional information and updates, visit the Santa Barbara County Health Department’s flu Web site at sbcfluinfo.org or call (888) 722-6358.

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According to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara ranked third for the highest number of skin cancer cases in the country. A nationwide screening, which made stops in 81 cities and tested 50-70 people per visit, revealed that Santa Barbara exhibited an alarmingly high number of positive cases per number of people tested. There were 24 cancer cases detected out of 70 people tested, including eight incidences of melanoma. Only St. Petersburg, Florida, and Huntley, Illinois, had higher numbers of positive results.

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