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Woman, 21, becomes first to die from swine flu in Stanislaus County

A 21-year-old woman from Stanislaus County has died from complications of swine flu, health officials said today.

The woman, who had pre-existing medical conditions, died on Wednesday while hospitalized with severe pneumonia, according to the county Health Services Agency. Tests later revealed that she had been infected with the H1N1 virus.

The woman, whose name and town of residence were not released, is the first person in Stanislaus County to die amid the H1N1 pandemic. State health officials said last week that H1N1 influenza is widespread in California, with more than 2,000 reported cases, including 233 hospitalized and 23 deaths.

"We have had numerous tests for H1N1 within our county during the past few weeks," said John Walker, the county's public health officer. "Only four have tested positive, and all four have been within the past three weeks.

"Clearly, virus activity is on the increase within our community. However, this should not be cause for alarm."

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