CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (KPIX 5) – A woman in Contra Costa County has died from the H1N1 influenza virus, a health official told KPIX 5 on Tuesday.

According to Kate Fowlie of Contra Costa Health Services, a 48-year-old woman with underlying health conditions died sometime this month. Officials have not released the identity of the woman.

Fowlie said the H1N1 virus has forced 17 people under the age of 65 to be hospitalized.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after a woman in Santa Clara County died from the H1N1 virus in late December.

Commonly known as the Swine Flu, the H1N1 influenza virus caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, while the virus circulates in pigs, it cannot be contracted by eating properly handled and cooked pork or pork products.

According to health officials, the best way to prevent the virus is to get the seasonal flu vaccine.

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