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Cape Coral resident dies of swine flu

By Staff | Oct 14, 2009

A 30-year-old otherwise healthy Cape Coral woman has died of swine flu.

The woman had been hospitalized prior to her death and she did not have any medical conditions that put her at greater risk of complications from flu, health department officials said Wednesday.

The unidentified woman is the fourth H1N1 flu-related death in Lee County.

“We offer our sincere condolences to this woman’s family and friends for their loss,” said Judith A. Hartner, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., director of the Lee County Health Department, in a prepared statement.

H1N1 can lead to severe sickness and death in some cases. Even young, healthy people can suffer serious consequences when infected. As of Oct. 14, 112 deaths have been reported in Florida, and 20 of them were under the age of 24, most with no underlying medical conditions.

“While most cases of H1N1 Swine flu are mild, there are exceptions. This is why the Lee County Health Department urges our community to get vaccinations against H1N1, a virus to which we have no immunity,” said Hartner.

To combat the spread of H1N1, the Lee County Health Department is embarking on an unprecedented campaign to offer vaccine to the entire community in an effort to keep families healthy. These vaccinations are voluntary and free and, officials say, necessary to keep community safe.

The Lee County Health Department plans to begin H1N1 free vaccination clinics later this month at 12 area high schools throughout the county. Everyone should eventually be vaccinated, but those in high risk categories will be given the first supplies of the vaccine. They include:

– Children and young adults age 6 months through 24 years

– Pregnant women

– People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months old

– Health care workers and emergency medical services personnel

– People age 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza

For more information on influenza activity there are a number of resources available such as the Florida Department of Health toll-free number which provides public health information and updates on H1N1 Swine flu. The information line is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT, seven days a week. Information is available in English, Spanish and Creole. The Florida Flu Information Line is 1-877-352-3581.

For Web-based information please visit any of the following Web sites:

Lee County Health Department, www.leechd.com

Florida Department of Health, www.doh.state.fl.us/DEMO/php/FluInfo.htm

Flu.gov, http://www.flu.gov

Source: Lee County Health Department