First Swine Flu death in North Carolina

June 24, 2009 10:04:00 AM PDT
North Carolina health officials said Wednesday that a hospital patient in Guilford County is the state's first death linked to Swine Flu.The man had other health problems that likely contributed to his death.

"My sympathy goes out to the family of North Carolina’s first fatality in connection with the H1N1 [Swine Flu] virus," said Gov. Bev Perdue in a news release.

While the symptoms of Swine Flu are generally mild compared to regular flu strains, the illness can be fatal in children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems.

Perdue said the state is doing what it can to limit the spread of the disease.

"Our state health officials are responding forcefully to the threat posed by H1N1, and we must remain vigilant in preventing the spread of this virus," she said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler said the death is “a sad reminder of the importance of staying focused on prevention. This agency will remain steadfast in communicating a message of prevention.”

DHHS encourages everyone to follow five basic prevention steps:

  • Stay home if you are sick to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough of sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

To date, North Carolina has recorded 124 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in 31 counties.


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