The Santa Barbara Public Health Department announced on 10/20 that a four-year-old boy died over the weekend as a result of H1N1 flu, marking the second swine flu-related death in the county. The boy was reportedly suffering from underlying respiratory conditions. According to Health Department spokesperson Susan Klein-Rothschild, 26 people in the county have been hospitalized for H1N1, 65 percent of whom were children or adolescents. For additional information about H1N1, including answers to vaccine inquiries, visit sbcfluinfo.com or call (888) 722-6358.
On 10/15 Santa Barbara County Animal Services reported a number of parvovirus cases throughout the county. Dog owners are encouraged to consult their veterinarian about the canine parvovirus vaccination series in an effort to curb the outbreak. Puppies are considered more susceptible to the disease than older dogs, and initial symptoms include high fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Parvovirus is specific to dogs and is not transmitted to humans or pets of a different species.
The U.S. Justice Department announced on 10/19 that the federal government would stop prosecuting medical marijuana users, providers, and growers if they are in compliance with state laws. Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the government’s new policy in a prepared statement: “It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana.”