Second Death Due To H1N1 In Rhode Island

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The Rhode Island Department of Health announces the second death in Rhode Island that is linked to infection of H1N1 virus. The person, an adult woman from Providence County, had underlying medical conditions that increased her risk for serious illness from influenza.

“Sadly, we have confirmed the second death of a Rhode Island resident from illness associated with H1N1,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “We express our sympathies to her family and friends. This is a reminder that H1N1 is in Rhode Island and continues to spread. Most cases we are seeing in Rhode Island are mild illness; however, anyone with underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, immunosuppression or pregnancy can have more severe symptoms or can die.”

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We have seen 58 hospitalizations and two deaths so far in Rhode Island. This underscores the need for everyone to be vigilant in taking steps to prevent getting this illness. The things everyone should do to help prevent the spread of H1N1 or any illness are:

· Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gels.

· Cough and sneeze into your elbow.

· Anyone who is sick with an Influenza-like illness (ILI) (fever plus cough or sore throat) should stay home for 7 days after symptoms begin or until symptoms have stopped for 24 hours, whichever is longer.

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