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Political commentator dies in San Diego, contracts H1N1 flu and meningitis

Posted at 5:28 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-02 11:15:57-05

San Diego (KGTV)- We’re learning more information about the seemingly healthy political commentator who dies suddenly in San Diego over the weekend.

26-year-old Bre Payton contracted the H1N1 flu virus, also known as swine flu, and meningitis. On Friday, a friend posted on twitter she found Payton unconscious. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died.

The San Diego County Health Department says the So-Cal resident contracted both illnesses before arriving in San Diego.

Meningitis causes inflammation in the brain and spine. A recent outbreak was reported at San Diego State University, but it is unclear if the strain Payton had was bacterial, like the SDSU cases, or if it was viral.

In a report released last week, there were over 1,300 influenza cases in San Diego County between July and December. Almost 200 of those cases were the H1N1 flu.

Health officials say, young adults, like Payton, are more likely to get the flu virus than kids and older adults. Middle age adults are not regularly exposed to the virus, and they have the lowest vaccination rates.

News of her death is hitting hard to her family. Her parents released a statement to ABC News saying:
“Bre was a brilliant, determined and beautiful girl from day one. She could silence a room with her beauty, and at the same moment impress everyone with her articulate reasoning. We miss her dearly, and our hearts are broken."