Fla. woman dies of swine flu

According to health officials, an 80-year-old Lake County, Fla., woman has died after contracting the swine flu.

The Lake County Health Department said the woman had recently traveled to California, making it difficult to determine whether she picked up the virus during her trip or in Central Florida, Click Orlando reports. Lake County said it is the first swine flu death this year.

The typical flu is characterized by a sore throat, headache, body aches, cough, fatigue, chills and a fever higher than 100 degrees. Some people have reported vomiting and diarrhea as additional symptoms. A person who has these symptoms may not necessarily have been exposed to influenza because other illnesses can cause similar signs.

"The most effective precautions we can use to fight illness are getting vaccinated before flu season and practicing good hygiene regimes," Dr. Claude Jones, LCHD's medical executive director, said, according to Click Orlando. "Simple precautions may lessen your risk of exposure of the virus or transmission to others."

Influenza is thought to be spread primarily from person to person through the sneezing or coughing of infected people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009 H1N1, also known as swine flu, was first detected in the United States in April 2009. The World Health Organization signaled that the influenza strain was a global pandemic that June. The 2009 H1N1 is one of the strains protected against in this coming season's flu vaccine.