Sixth Utahn dies from swine flu-related illness

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake Valley Health Department (SLVHD) Tuesday reported a sixth death due to Novel Influenza A H1N1. Health officials say the man, who is between 25 and 50 years old, died Friday.

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On May 20, the first Utahn died after contracting the H1N1 virus. Marcos Sanchez, 21, was sent home from the hospital only to return the next day even sicker. He was later sent to another hospital, where he died. State health officials said he suffered from chronic health problems that put him at risk for contracting the H1N1 virus.

**Who is at risk of complications of flu?**
• Adults and children with certain chronic medical conditions including chronic lung problems such as asthma, heart, liver, blood, nervous system, muscular, or metabolic disorders such as diabetes. • Pregnant women. • Children younger than 5 years old (under 12 months are especially vulnerable). • Adults and children who have immunodeficiency or immuno-suppression, including that caused by medications such as corticosteroids and chemotherapy, or diseases such as HIV/AIDS. • Children ages 6 months to 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection. • Persons 50 years old or older, particularly 65 years or older. • People who live in settings such as nursing homes, residential schools, and jails. *- Salt Lake Valley Health Dept.*
The second death came on June 1. It was a [pediatric patient who died]( at Primary Children's Hospital. Health officials say this younger patient also had significant underlying medical conditions that led to complications.

The third and fourth deaths came on June 12. One of the deaths was the one reported on Tuesday, June 16. The other was a 45-year-old father.

On Saturday, June 13, another Utahn died, 47-year-old Francine Rushton whose brother says she was taken to the hospital three times with flu like symptoms but tested negative for swine flu all three times. Health officials also say Rushton had underlying health problems that may have contributed to her death.

On Monday, June 15, a 58-year-old woman died in a Salt Lake hospital.

State and local health officials want Utahns to continue taking precautions like staying home from work if you're sick.

**What are considered severe symptoms of influenza?**
**For Adults:** • Difficulty breathing • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips • Vomiting and unable to keep liquids down • Signs of dehydration like dizziness when standing, absence of urination, or in infants, a lack of tears when they cry • Seizures or uncontrolled convulsions • Loss of consciousness • Alteration in thinking **For Children:** • Fast breathing or trouble breathing • Bluish or gray skin color • Not drinking enough fluids • Not waking up or not interacting • Being so irritable that the child doesn't want to be held • Flu-like symptoms that improve then return with fever and worse cough • Fever with a rash *- Salt Lake Valley Health Dept.*
The swine flu, like more traditional strains, spreads quickly, especially in households, Risk said. She expects it to remain active this summer and likely become more active during the seasonal flu season in the coming fall and winter.

More than 700 cases of swine flu have been reported in the state. Last week, Utah's state and local health departments stopped tallying all H1N1 cases. Instead, they're focusing on studying hospitalizations and deaths as well as the severity of the virus.

Novell in Utah County is implementing a new program to respond to the swine flu. Employees who are sick or have family members who are sick are asked to stay home; the company will pay for up to 10 days.


(Copyright 2009 Bonneville International Corporation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed. AP contributed to this report.) AP Rights & Restrictions

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