Little boy, far from home, 1st US swine flu death

houston

Mexican boy is 1st to die in U.S. from swine flu

He was not yet 2, far from home and dying. The first victim of swine flu in the United States was a Mexican toddler who struggled to survive for weeks in Texas hospitals, long before it was known that doctors were dealing with an international outbreak. Now the hunt is on to find anyone who came into contact with the boy while he visited relatives in the border city of Brownsville from his home in Mexico City. The state's health director, Dr. David Lakey, at an Austin news conference, called it "highly likely" that the boy contracted the disease in Mexico. Officials in Brownsville are trying to find out who his family members visited on the trip and how many people were in the group, said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos. The 23-month-old boy had "underlying health issues" before he flew to Matamoros, Mexico, on April 4 and crossed into Brownsville, state health officials said. He developed flu symptoms four days later and was taken to a Brownsville hospital April 13 and transferred the next day to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, where he died Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday that the boy had the swine flu virus. The cause of death was pneumonia caused by the virus, Cascos said. Officials said he posed no contagion threat to Houston. He had no contact with other patients at Texas Children's Hospital, and none of the staff was exposed, a hospital official said.

Associated Press

Little boy, far from home, 1st US swine flu death 04/29/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:36pm]

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