SNOHOMISH COUNTY MAN FIRST TO DIE IN STATE FROM H1N1 FLU VIRUS
May 10, 2009
(SHORELINE, WA) -- An as yet unidentified Snohomish County man has become the first person in Washington State to die from complications resulting from the H1N1 viral flu, better known as swine flu, according to an announcement made Saturday by Washington State health department officials.
Bus riders in Mexico use masks to keep from picking up flu virus. Photo by Eneas. CLICK TO ENLARGE
State health officials – who received preliminary test results Saturday from an autopsy - have not released his name or the location in the county where he lived, only that the he was in his mid 30’s, had an underlying heart condition and was being treated by anti-viral drugs when he passed away on Wednesday of this week. Most of the adults who've died in this H1N1 flu outbreak also had some underlying health condition.
Health officials say the man became sick April 30th and died from viral pneumonia, a complication from the H1N1 influenza.
The man’s death marks the third flu death in the U.S. since the outbreak began. The other two deaths were in Texas. In Mexico some 48 people at last count had died from catching the viral flu.
The two H1N1 reported deaths in Texas, a Mexican toddler and a pregnant woman, each also suffered from several other illnesses when they first became infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Regular, old strain influenza kills about 36,000 Americans nationwide every year.
Washington State health officials say there may be a reason that most of those who have been made ill by the new flu virus are relatively young people and that reason is that older people may have, over the years, built up some measure of immunity by being exposed to a similar virus.
The flu has so far hit mostly kids and it generally results in only mild illnesses. Some 75% of the 70 flu cases in King County were 19 years old or younger and only three of those patients had to be taken to the hospital.