San Bernardino County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, announced today the County’s fifth death resulting from the H1N1 virus, previously referred to as “swine flu.” As of August 19, there are a total of 206 confirmed H1N1 flu virus cases, and 32 hospitalized cases in San Bernardino County. The majority of those affected have experienced mild or moderate illness, and most patients have fully recovered. Still, adds Dr. Ohikhuare, “We are in the early stages of a global influenza pandemic and Public Health urges all residents to continue to take precautions to protect themselves, their families, co-workers and the community.” Currently, there is no vaccine to protect against the H1N1 virus, though a vaccine should be available in Fall 2009. In the meantime, the County’s Public Health Department advises the following: cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow; wash hands often with soap and water; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and avoid close contact with sick people. Those experiencing flu-like symptoms are advised to stay home from work or school, and contact their health care provider.