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Massachusetts Announces Eleventh H1N1 Death

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the H1N1-related death of a 26-year-old Dukes County resident. The individual had no known underlying health conditions. This brings the total number of deaths related to H1N1 in Massachusetts to 11.

"Every death from flu is tragic, but it is even more so when it involves a young person," said DPH Commissioner John Auerbach. "This case is also a reminder of how serious influenza can be, and why we are focused so intently on preparations for the upcoming flu season."

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 477 people have died as a result of H1N1 influenza in the United States. By contrast, each year seasonal influenza causes an estimated 250,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths nationally. Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from the flu.

These groups include: children under the age of 2, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. These people should call their doctor immediately to discuss appropriate treatment if they develop a fever with a cough, sore throat or runny nose.

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Simple precautions to help stop the spread of flu include:

* Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

* Cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your inner elbow and not into your hands.

* If you or your child is sick with the flu, stay home from work or school. If you do need medical attention, call first so that your health care provider can make arrangements for your visit and minimize the chances that you’ll spread the flu to others.

* Stay informed about the latest developments on the H1N1 flu.