Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas records first swine flu death

ST. PETERSBURG — A 36-year-old man stricken with swine flu has become the first confirmed fatality from the virus in Pinellas County.

Officials at the Pinellas Health Department, which learned of the death on Monday, said the victim had an underlying medical condition. He died within the last four days, said Andrea Dopico, an epidemiologist there.

"This influenza is here in our community and spreading," she said, which makes it more likely "that we will see deaths and complications because of the wide distribution.

"There's no indication that this virus is any more severe than the seasonal flu, but we do want people to be prepared," she added.

Hillsborough's Health Department has confirmed four deaths related to swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus. The three Hills­borough men and one woman had prior medical conditions, which put them at greater risk for complications, officials said.

Florida counted 41 deaths attributed to swine flu as of Wednesday, when the figure was last updated.

Across the nation, public health experts are bracing for further spread as children head back to school. On Friday, the federal government issued new guidance aimed at containing outbreaks while avoiding keeping kids out of school any longer than necessary.

Pinellas families should pay close attention to information distributed by schools, said Dopico of the Health Department. She urged parents to have a backup plan, should they or their children develop flu symptoms.

"Hand washing is very important," Dopico said, also recommending preventive measures as "keeping away from sick individuals and getting the vaccine when it becomes available."

A vaccine for swine flu is expected in the fall. School-age children, pregnant women and adults with chronic health disorders rank at the top of the priority list to receive it.

Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3322. For more health news, visit tampabay.com/health.

Pinellas records first swine flu death 08/10/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea

    National

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography

    Crime

    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea

    Politics

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.