A 52 year old Washington state woman who became ill on July 30 while visiting Siskiyou County, was eventually diagnosed with the Novel H1N1 flu virus and died Aug. 16 after 12 days of hospitalization in Redding.
The Siskiyou County Public Health Department reported that this is the first person to be hospitalized in Siskiyou County from the H1N1 virus (also known as swine flu), and the first H1N1 related death in Shasta County. 
“We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of this patient,” said Dr. Stephen Perlman, Siskiyou County Health Officer. “We know that H1N1 is present throughout our community, as it is throughout the nation. Fortunately, most people who become sick with H1N1 do get better.  Tragically, this patient did not recover.  Those at highest risk of complications with H1N1 have underlying medical conditions including obesity, respiratory conditions, pregnancy and autoimmune disorders.”
To date, there has been only one lab defined case of H1N1 infection in a Siskiyou County resident, according to a news release from the Public Health Department. However, only hospitalized cases are being tested at this time.
The California Department of Public Health had reported more than 1,000 hospitalizations and 104 deaths as of Aug. 12. 
Siskiyou officials continue to see unusual flu activity for this time of the year and recommend the community continue taking steps to prevent spread of the flu.
Everyday actions such as frequent hand washing and avoiding sick individuals are simple but highly effective in preventing respiratory disease, according to Dr.  Perlman.
Anyone who becomes sick with flu-like symptoms is encouraged to stay home from work or school and avoid contact with others. 
Flu-like symptoms that have been associated with confirmed hospitalized cases of H1N1 include: fever above 101 degrees (93 percent) and cough (83 percent).
Other symptoms common in confirmed H1N1 hospitalized patients are: shortness of breath (54 percent), fatigue/weakness (40 percent), chills (37 percent) and myalgias (muscle soreness) (36 percent), severe sore throat (31 percent), headache (31 percent), vomiting (29 percent) and  diarrhea (25 percent).
Residents with these severe flu-like symptoms should call a healthcare provider right away.
Everyday steps to prevent H1N1 infection include:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw used tissue in the trash.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without use of fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or for other necessities.  Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
Siskiyou Health Department is anticipating two influenza vaccines for the public this fall: Seasonal influenza and H1N1.
Officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control have developed a new vaccine to prevent H1N1 infection, which is now being clinically tested. The Health Dept. says it is still awaiting information on the release of H1N1 vaccine. Distribution plans are underway to make sure that high risk individuals are able to receive the vaccine first. Most likely, seasonal flu vaccine will be available first in early fall. 
Siskiyou County health officials are continuing to monitor local, state and national H1N1 activities.  Prevention information on H1N1 flu has been posted on the  Siskiyou County Health Services Department website at: http://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/phs/index.htm .   Prevention information and question & answer sheets related to H1N1 are available on the following web sites:
CDC web site:  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ 
CDPH web site: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/SwineInfluenza.aspx. 
If you have questions you can call the California Dept of Public Health Hotline  1-888-865-0564 or Siskiyou County Health Department at 530-841-2100 or 530-841-2134, ask for the Nurse of the Day or email questions to: Phdflu@co.siskiyou.ca.us.