SACRAMENTO - Cases of the deadly H1N1 virus are on the rise in California.
In Sacramento, the swine flu virus is now being blamed for the first flu related death of the season. Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said the 61-year-old woman spent two weeks at the hospital battling the H1N1 virus before she died. It is unclear if the woman got a flu vaccine.
Hospitals in Sacramento County report seeing the return of H1N1 virus cases, which were last seen in 2009. Kasirye said as of Friday, 10 people are in the ICU at different hospitals with swine flu-related symptoms. Last week, hospitals were only reporting five cases.
"There's antiviral treatment that people can get and the sooner they can get the treatment, the better," Kasirye said.
County health officials are ready to respond if the number of people infected with the H1N1 virus continues to sharply rise.
"If there is a need for more flu clinics, we will set some up," Kasirye said. "But the vaccine is available to a lot of people right now."
Compared to the 2009 vaccine, which guarded people from the flu, this year's vaccine guards people from the H1N1 strain of the flu.