3 deaths in Kings County due to H1N1 flu strain


Richard Balderama couldn't believe his cousin died from the H1N1 strain of the flu last week. Balderama says his cousin, 39-year-old Isidro Rodriguez, looked happy and healthy.

" They told me he was in the hospital a few days later they said he was going to die, they didn't know what was the cause and then I went in and seen him went and prayed for him" Balderama said.

Balderama said his cousin's wife and children are devastated by his death and his cousin had not gotten vaccinated. Monday Balderama showed up to the Kings County Department of Public Health's flu clinic to protect himself and other members of his family. He is also taking a test to see if he has the H1N1 flu strain since he visited his cousin at the hospital.

"We were real close and stuff like that one day he was there and one day he's not so it's best to be safe,"

Kings County health officials expanded its flu clinic hours even before three people died from the H1N1 flu virus in Kings County within the last week.

"One in their 30's, one in their 50's one was previously healthy the other not and that's concerns us, that we are seeing previously healthy people develop serious respiratory illness," Debbie Grice with the Kings CO. Dept. Of Public Health said.

Grice said since the H1N1 deaths were made public many people have been flocking to the health department to get vaccinated for the flu.

"We've seen numbers we don't typically see we had 145 here on Friday, 127 come in on Thursday," Grice said.

"I got my daughter, she's 2-years-old, I got her shot but sometimes we neglect ourselves so we're in here today and I'm glad I got it," Dave Shubert of Hanford said.

Health officials insist it is not possible for the vaccine to give you the flu.

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