The H1N1 virus claimed another victim in Santa Barbara County last weekend with the death of a four-year-old boy.
According to Dept. of Public Health officials, this was the second fatality in the county due to the influenza strain. An adolescent girl died after contacting H1N1 earlier this month.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Dept. Officer Susan Klein-Rothschild said the deceased had other underlying medical conditions, which she said is often the case with fatalities associated with swine flu.
“We are terribly sad for this family who just lost a four-year-old child,” Klein-Rothschild said. “Any parent in this type of situation immediately feels pain. It’s a tragedy.”
Klein-Rothschild said that it is important for everyone to get the H1N1 vaccine once it is available at medical facilities in Santa Barbara in early to mid-November. Student Health will offer the vaccine at a discounted rate of $10.
While the young boy was only the second to die from the influenza strain in the county, numerous people have reported H1N1 symptoms, including 500 UCSB students over the past two weeks.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control, there have been 12,578 cases of the virus reported across the nation.