As of January 13, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported two new cases of the H1N1 flu, one of which led to death. This brings the cumulative total of cases to 61 hospitalizations and nine deaths. It is important to note, however, that all deaths occurred in individuals with underlying medical conditions.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will provide two free vaccination clinics to all residents over the age of six months on Monday, January 25 from 3-7 p.m. at the Earl Warren Showgrounds and Thursday, January 28 from 3-7 p.m. at the Santa Maria Fairpark. The Public Health Department will continue to offer free vaccinations through their Public Health Clinics in Lompoc, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria.
Officials stress the importance of prevention as the best way to combat H1N1 spread. They urge residents to get vaccinated, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, avoid touching the mouth, nose, and eyes, and to cover coughs and sneezes. For more information visit sbfluinfo.org or call the H1N1 Public Hotline at 1-888-722-6358.