King County announces first swine flu death of season


by Staff

Posted on October 20, 2009 at 11:20 AM

SEATTLE - King County announced its first swine flu death of the season Thursday.

A Seattle in his 20's died Wednesday from complications of H1N1 and underlying health conditions.

"Our hearts go out to this man's loved ones," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. "Flu activity is increasing locally, and this tragedy is a reminder that H1N1 influenza can be a very serious illness and that people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for severe complications and death."

From April 25 to October 2, 82 people in King County have been hospitalized with swine flu. Nearly a quarter of those needed intensive care and three have died.

Vaccine is being made available, with priority to people most at risk for swine flu:

-Pregnant women

-People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age

-People between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old

-People between 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems

-Health care and emergency workers

The county says small, initial shipments totaling 20,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine began arriving late last week for immunization of health care workers. A second shipment of 30,000 doses of vaccine may begin to arrive as soon as late this week.