Topeka (WIBW) - Kansas health officials Wednesday reported the second death in the state from the H1N1 virus.
KDHE says the patient was a six-year old child from southeast Kansas.
The child's illness was confirmed as H1N1 August 25th and the death was reported Sept. 3rd.
“We know that this virus infects children at a higher rate than adults and today’s sad news makes that point painfully clear,” Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, state health officer, said. “While the majority of people experience mild illness, this child’s tragic death reminds all of us the importance of working towards preventing further spread and receiving the H1N1 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.”
The pandemic H1N1 virus, which is thought to have infected more than 1 million Americans, has been confirmed in 53 counties in Kansas.
Visits to healthcare providers and emergency departments for influenza, which are tracked by KDHE, have been increasing in certain regions of the state over the past few weeks and are higher nationally than what is typically seen at this time of year. In most of the state’s cases, where confirmatory testing was done, flu symptoms have been relatively mild. However, hospitalization rates for H1N1 influenza have been similar to seasonal influenza, and are also higher nationally than what is typically seen at this time of year.
The symptoms of infection with the pandemic H1N1 virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.
KDHE has a hotline to answer the public's questions on H1N1. Calls are answered from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday thru Friday at 877-427-7317.
Information is also available at www.kdheks.gov.