Recent updates regarding H1N1 in Santa Barbara County reveal that the disease is still very much a threat. There were two new cases between December 15 and December 29, one resulting in death. In total, there have been 57 hospitalizations and seven deaths resulting from H1N1 in Santa Barbara County.

In an effort to prevent additional outbreaks, approximately 20,000 H1N1 vaccinations were administered in Santa Barbara County between October 28 and December 30. The vaccinations were free and administered at community clinics. Additional measures will be taken this month, with the Public Health Department again offering free vaccinations at clinics throughout Lompoc, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria. Dates, times, and exact locales for those vaccinations can be found at sbcfluinfoorg.

In addition, a hotline has been set up to answer whatever H1N1-related questions Santa Barbara County residents may have. Callers may be spoken to in English or Spanish. Since September 23, the hotline has received and answered 2,300 calls. The hotline number is (800) 722-6358.

According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, prevention is still the best measure. Getting vaccinated, frequently washing hands, avoiding sick people, avoiding people when one is sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching the face are all excellent means of prevention.


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