sanbernardino-thumb1The County’s ninth, tenth, and eleventh deaths from the pandemic H1N1 flu virus were announced today (October 6) by San Bernardino County Public Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, noting that, “All of these cases had underlying conditions and, unfortunately, included a four-month old infant, a 25-year-old male, and a 43-year-old woman. Anyone with a chronic illness should be especially careful to take precautions that will limit the chances of becoming infected with this virus.” San Bernardino County has reported 235 confirmed H1N1 flu cases to the state, though most people have experienced mild or moderate illness and have fully recovered. Still, adds Dr. Ohikhuare, “As flu becomes more widespread this fall, everyone should take an active role to prevent infection, and avoid spreading the virus if they do get sick.” The Department of Public Health expects to receive a shipment of the H1N1 vaccine in about two weeks. In the meantime, those with flu-like symptoms are advised to stay home from school or work, and all are reminded to take simple steps to prevent infection, such as frequent washing of hands; also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, avoid close contact with sick people, and remember to cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. For more information on the seasonal flu vaccination (which was offered in Big Bear yesterday), call the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health at 800/782-4264, or visit the department’s website at