Child Dies In Texas From Swine Flu

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Health Care, Science, Swine Flu, Texas

The first confirmed death in the US.

Fron CNN:

A child in Texas has become the first fatality from swine flu in the United States, the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

“I can confirm the very sad news out of Texas that a child has died of the H1N1 virus,” the CDC’s Dr. Richard Besser said.

“As a parent and a pediatrician, my heart goes out to the family.”

He said the child was about 2 years old.

However, to put this all in perspective…

Common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year worldwide, far more than the current outbreak of swine flu.

So it doesn’t make the child’s death any less tragic, but some proper context is appropriate since the normal flu is always deadly.

More as it develops…

UPDATE:
The title of the post has changed to reflect the fact that the child was from Mexico and travelled to the US for treatment.

Sorry for any confusion.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 and is filed under Health Care, Science, Swine Flu, Texas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Child Dies In Texas From Swine Flu”

  1. AOL Says:

    can you note he was not American and was traveling from Mexico for treatment?

  2. Paul Says:

    Wasn’t this child brought in from Mexico ? May God blesss this child !

  3. Kevin Says:

    While he was not from the US, he was an American

  4. AOL Says:

    How was he an American?

    “It is important for everyone to know that while the death occurred here in Houston … this child is a resident of Mexico who traveled to Texas to visit family,” said Dr. David Persse, Houston emergency medical services director.

  5. gary Says:

    What is important is that this child, along with hundreds of thousands of others die annually from the flu.

    It’s the flu, not the plague!

    Media and others need to stop fanning the flames.

    Sure it’s tragic, but not remarkable.

  6. Kevin Jackson Says:

    There is North America and Central America and South America. We are all Americans. We’re reaching a bit when we think only we are. We are in the sense that there is no easy way to say where we are from otherwise.

  7. Anonymous2 Says:

    This child’s death, though tragic, is the reason I am in favor of closing the border temporarily until we have a real handle on the swine flu. Common sense should have kept the parents from crossing the border with a sick child and potentially spreading the flu to untold thousands of US citizens. Close the border now!

  8. Ericka Says:

    If we were not so afraid of being PC then we could close the borders and assess the damage. The WHO sends a mixed message by to stepping it up to a level 5, and still recommending countries to allow international travel. Flu season is usually winding down by now. We don’t know much about this strain. It will take months before a vaccine is even feasible. We have gained some strength through time from vaccinations in the past, but seeing as this is a new strain, we have no way of knowing how this will mutate or behave. Considering the average number of deaths from flu viruses which we have vaccines for/are prepared for, perhaps this is something we may not be able to brush off as easily as we first thought. We need time and research on our side before we have more factors and people adding to the mix.

  9. TerenceC Says:

    It’s ashame – apparently the baby had other medical issues before the family ever got to the US. Flu is responsible for 10′s of thousands of deaths world wide every year – I’d be interested to know what the victims actually die from. Is it just the high fever, heart failure, iiver failure, or whatever?

  10. Tully Says:

    Yeah, context has been SADLY lacking in the media. If I hear the word “pandemic” used to describe what is blatantly NOT a pandemic one more time, I may scream. A pandemic is a geographically widespread outbreak of disease with deep population penetration. And by the way, mortality is not a consideration in the definition of pandemic–if everyone had the same minor cold across the world, that qualifies as a “pandemic.”

    CDC morning report is 286 confirmed U.S. cases with just the one (imported) fatality, who had some serious health issues before contracting the H1N1 virus. Hardly a pandemic. Switching to world figures (less than a thousand cases, no deaths outside the US or Mexico) doesn’t alter the outlook much. ALL of the other deaths reported (25) are from the Mexican outbreak.

    For comparison, “regular” old influenza infects several million Americans a year, and kills about 36,000 of us. Here a much higher percentage of cases are lab-confirmed than in third-world countries. In general in third-world nations, only cases resulting in hospitalization and/or death are lab-confirmed, so the apparent 5% mortality figure from the Mexico figures has to be taken with a large grain of salt. People who get sick and get better without intensive medical care go unreported/unsampled.

    The usual killer with influenza (any type) is opportunistic pneumonia or other secondary infection taking advantage of the compromised immune system. The body just can’t keep up, and the defenses are overwhelmed.

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