Authorities released the name today of the first person to die from swine flu-related complications in the San Diego area.
Adela Chevalier, 20, succumbed to the illness in an emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido on Monday afternoon, a day after she began feeling sick, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.
Chevalier, who lived in a San Marcos apartment with her brother, apparently had been healthy prior to contracting the virus and had not traveled recently, officials said. She worked at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in San Marcos.
Her death was the seventh swine flu-related fatality in California, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten called the young woman's lethal illness "a tragic reminder that the H1N1 virus is still very much active in our community."
"Residents of San Diego County still need to be vigilant about H1N1 and take the necessary precautions of covering their mouth when they cough, sneeze or blow their nose, and wash their hands frequently," Wooten said.
"We are still monitoring this virus and working with local, state and national health officials, but it will be several months before a vaccine is developed for H1N1."
There have been 275 confirmed cases of the disease in the San Diego region. Twenty-five of them have necessitated hospitalization.
People who had been in close contact with Chevalier recently have received post-exposure treatment, authorities said.