Crime

County Jail inmate dies after being diagnosed with H1N1 flu

A San Luis Obispo County Jail inmate died Monday afternoon after being hospitalized for influenza.

Rudy Joseph Silva, 35, told County Jail staff Thursday that he was ill, said Tony Cipolla, spokesman for the county Sheriff’s Office.

According to Cipolla, Silva was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, where he was diagnosed with the H1N1 flu virus and transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Silva, who had a history of medical issues, died about 2:15 p.m., Cipolla said.

Silva had been held at County Jail since Oct. 22 on a felony charge of receiving stolen property as well as charges of petty theft, possession of a controlled substance and violating probation.

Cipolla said Silva’s exact cause of death is pending an investigation.

If confirmed as flu-related, Silva’s death would be the first caused by the H1N1 virus in San Luis Obispo County.

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