Kansas Records First H1N1 Death In Previously Healthy Person

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka (WIBW) - Kansas health officials Wednesday announced the first H1N1 death where the person had no prior serious prior medical problems.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says lab testing confirmed Oct. 5 that a 50-year old woman from the Kansas City area had H1N1. She was hospitalized for a week before she died Tuesday.

“The death being reported today reminds us of the importance of taking this virus very seriously,” Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, state health officer, said. “The H1N1 vaccine has started arriving in the state and it is important for Kansans to know that this is a safe and effective tool we have for fighting this virus. While supplies of the vaccine are very limited at this time, we will soon have sufficient quantities to starting vaccinating larger groups and I encourage Kansans to stay informed.”

This is the seventh death in the state of Kansas linked to the H1N1 virus.

KDHE says visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness have been increasing in most regions of Kansas as well as throughout the United States over the past few weeks. They say the numbers substantially higher 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. Most people who have been ill with pandemic H1N1 influenza have recovered without medical treatment.

Additional information from KDHE:
*Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get rid of most germs and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
*If you become sick, stay home until at least 24 hours after fever or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, in order to avoid spreading illness to co-workers and friends.
*Cough or sneeze into a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues. If you do not have a tissue, cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow and not your hands.
*Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest and exercise.

KDHE has established a phone number for concerned Kansans to call with questions about the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus. The toll-free number is 1-877-427-7317. Operators will be available to answer questions from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Persons calling will be directed to press “1” on their touch-tone phone to be directed to an operator who can answer questions.

Kansans with questions about the virus can email H1N1fluinfo@kdheks.gov. Information is also available from KDHE at www.kdheks.gov.

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