Connecticut Announces First H1N1 Influenza Death

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The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced the state’s first death linked to infection with the novel H1N1 virus. The individual, a New Haven County resident over the age of 50, had underlying risk factors that put this person at higher risk for complications of influenza. The individual died recently after a short hospitalization.

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“Our hearts go out to this person’s family and friends,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “Though the cases of H1N1 flu in Connecticut have largely been mild, this death underscores the seriousness of influenza and the devastating impact it can have.”

The department today also confirmed 38 additional cases of H1N1 flu, bringing the statewide total to 395 cases. Laboratory-confirmed cases represent only a fraction of the likely number of cases in the state because many persons with mild symptoms do not seek care from a doctor or hospital but recover at home. There have been three hospitalizations reported related to the novel H1N1 virus, including that of the individual who died. The two other patients were discharged from the hospital and have fully recovered.

“Illness from H1N1 influenza continues to occur in Connecticut, with most people experiencing only mild illness,” stated Dr. Galvin. “It is not unexpected, however, that the infections have caused serious illness, including death.” Dr. Galvin noted that every year, approximately 36,000 people die due to seasonal influenza in the United States.

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