First H1N1 death confirmed in Lubbock County - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/22/09

First H1N1 death confirmed in Lubbock County

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By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -   Lubbock County sees its first death from the H1N1 virus. Health officials say it claimed the life of a woman at University Medical Center Monday, and want to stress the patient suffered from an underlying health condition.

Local health officials say the woman that died yesterday from H1N1 had other health conditions that complicated her recovery from the flu. UMC saw 60 patients Tuesday with flu like symptoms and they want to keep you healthy.

"We've had deaths from H1N1 in the state and nation and in Lubbock yesterday," says University Medical Center Vice President Greg Bruce. He adds that typically with flu related deaths a patient's immune system is already weak. "If there is a death from H1N1 or seasonal flu it's those patients that are at risk are those who have an underlying health condition," says Bruce.

That underlying condition Bruce says could be anything from heart disease to diabetes. "If they have underlying health condition or are a patient over 65, a pregnant woman or have diabetes they should be extra vigilant if they develop flu symptoms and should be in contact with their physician," says Bruce.

Regardless of the strand, each year the flu can be deadly that's why if you have a condition that puts you at risk - keep a close eye on any flu symptoms you may develop

So how do you know if you have a cold, or the flu? With a cold, symptoms appear gradually and can include a stuffy nose, congestion, body aches and a cough. Flu symptoms appear rapidly and include body aches, dry cough, vomiting, and severe fatigue.

Bruce says many of the patients UMC has seen most likely have the H1N1 strand. "Most of the flu is assumed to be H1N1 because of the time of the year seasonal flu isn't hitting this part of the country this early," says Bruce about the type of flu floating around town.

He says physicians can order flu strand tests but local hospitals rely on guidance from the City of Lubbock Health Department for testing flu strands. The department says a H1N1 test is ordered when a patient is admitted to the hospital for the flu and suffers symptoms for 48 hours.

With germs floating around town there are simple things you can do to stay healthy. Physicians advise getting both the flu and H1N1 vaccines once they become available. Wash your hands and if you have to cough do so into your sleeve or a tissue. A rule of thumb, according to Bruce, is be sure you are fever and symptom free for 24 hours before going back to work or school.

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