Another Santa Barbara County resident has died in connection with the H1N1 flu, this time an 82-year-old woman who had significant underlying medical issues.

The woman had been hospitalized since early October. She is the third county resident to die from H1N1, and the second in the past week. A four-year-old child with chronic medical conditions succumbed to the swine flu earlier this week. The first to die was a teenaged girl, on October 3. The number of H1N1 deaths recently surpassed 1,000 nationwide.

“We send our thoughts and sympathies to the family of the deceased,” said Michele Mickiewicz, interim County Public Health Department director in a news release. “These unfortunate deaths are a reminder that pandemic H1N1 is present in our communities and people are encouraged to continue taking steps to prevent spreading and/or becoming ill with the flu.”

The Public Health Department is planning a press conference Monday, October 26, to talk about the prevalence of the flu in Santa Barbara County, as well as the availability of vaccines locally and what residents should do when they become ill. Officials encourage those with chronic medical conditions, or who are pregnant or medically fragile, as well as children under age two, who have flu symptoms to contact a physician right away.

For more information on the swine flu, visit


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