Girl is Pima County's second swine flu victim - East Valley Tribune: Health

Girl is Pima County's second swine flu victim

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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 8:19 pm | Updated: 3:04 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Pima County's second swine flu death was a 10-year-old girl who died May 17, local health officials confirmed today.

On May 15, a 13-year-old Tucson boy became the first person in Pima County to die of the swine flu, also called the H1N1 virus.

A total of three Arizonans have died of swine flu complications, the first being a 57-year-old Pinal County woman last week. Health officials said the woman had underlying medical conditions.

The two Pima County children are the only pediatric swine flu deaths in Arizona to date.

Both children, who are not related and have no travel history outside the state, were medically compromised, Pima County Health Department spokeswoman Patti Woodcock said. Woodcock would not disclose where the children went to school.

County officials are still telling members of the public to treat the swine flu like they would the regular, seasonal flu. On average, 700 people in Arizona die per year from the seasonal flu.

People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people 65 and older; children younger than 5; pregnant women; people of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease; and people who are immunosuppressed.

As of Wednesday Arizona had 534 confirmed cases of swine flu, including 122 in Pima County and 282 in Maricopa County.

While health officials so far have not provided any further details about the girl who died, they have said the boy -- a middle school student -- had a serious pre-existing medical condition and died Friday. He was also one of seven members of one family who contracted the virus.

Health investigators were unable to determine how the family members acquired the virus, she said. They had not traveled outside Pima County before becoming ill.

The U.S. on Wednesday had confirmed 7,927 cases of swine flu, including 11 deaths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that this virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to seven days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might be contagious for longer periods.

Common symptoms of the swine flu include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, diarrhea and vomiting.

In general, it's advised to avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading the illness.

Anyone who is sick may be ill for a week or longer. The CDC advises staying home and avoiding contact with other people, except to seek medical care.

Federal officials say people who suspect they have the virus should wear a mask when outside the home, or cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

Information about H1N1 flu is available at www.azdhs.gov.

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