1st death from H1N1 (Swine Flu) in Spokane County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

1st death from H1N1 (Swine Flu) in Spokane County

SPOKANE, Wash. - A woman visiting Spokane from out of state died from complications linked to H1N1 (swine flu).  Spokane County Health District spokesperson, Julie Graham told KHQ that the woman who had multiple underlying health conditions was exposed to H1N1 in the Spokane area and died July 16.

 "Our hearts go out to the family for their loss," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for Spokane Regional Health District. "Sadly, this is an example of how H1N1 flu can have very serious consequences. We are now intensively planning and preparing for the anticipated spread of the virus in the fall."

In a news release issued Monday morning, Graham says, health officials across the nation are planning for the fall, when they believe that children going back to school will lead to an increase in the virus' spread. The severity of the H1N1 virus has not changed here in Washington state or anywhere around the world, and so far it has not been more severe than the typical seasonal flu. However since it is a new virus, most people are susceptible to catching it.

The woman who died was in her 40's and was hospitalized at the time of death.  Tests from the Washington State Department of Health's lab confirmed the H1N1 virus today. 

Check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for frequently updated information and resources: www.cdc.gov/H1N1  and for local updates visit  www.srhd.org/swineflu.

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