Connecticut Announces 3rd Death Due To H1N1 Influenza
The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced the state’s third death linked to infection with the novel H1N1 virus. The person, a New Haven County resident, was in the 40 to 49 year old age group and had underlying medical conditions that increased the risk for serious illness from influenza. The person died recently after hospitalization.
“We express our sympathy to the family and friends of this person who recently died due to H1N1,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “While most of the cases we’re seeing in Connecticut recover with only mild illness, the passing of three people due to illness associated with H1N1 underscores the potential severity and devastating impact of influenza.”
The Department of Public Health today reported 693 Connecticut residents have had laboratory-confirmed novel H1N1 influenza, of whom 22 have been hospitalized. Most of these hospitalized persons have recovered and been discharged. Residents from the following counties have been hospitalized: Fairfield (9), New Haven (12), and Hartford (1). Cities with three or more hospitalizations include the following: Bridgeport (3), New Haven (4), Stamford (3), and Waterbury (5). These cities all have populations over 100,000 people.
“We continue to expect more illness from H1N1 influenza in Connecticut,” stated Dr. Galvin. “While most people may experience only mild illness, it appears that H1N1 flu is at least as severe as seasonal flu, and so it won’t be unexpected to see serious illness, including death.” Dr. Galvin noted that every year, approximately 36,000 people die due to seasonal influenza in the United States.
DPH is currently not recommending H1N1 influenza testing in outpatients with febrile respiratory illnesses for surveillance purposes. If testing for novel H1N1 influenza is clinically indicated for certain outpatients, health care providers can request testing through a commercial laboratory.
DPH continues to ask residents to take precautions to prevent getting the flu or spreading it by staying home from work or school if they are sick, washing their hands frequently, and coughing or sneezing into their sleeve or a tissue.