Like prior 2 cases, Washington state man had underlying health problems, officials say
SUNDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- An unidentified man in his 30s from Snohomish County, Wash., is the third person in the United States to die from swine flu, state health officials said late Saturday.
In a Department of Health news release, officials said the man, who had an underlying heart condition, died last week with what appear to be complications from H1N1 swine flu, the Associated Press reported.
The man's death comes after two prior fatal U.S. cases of swine flu: a 33-year-old woman in Texas, and a Mexican toddler who had been treated at a Texas hospital. Both of those individuals also had chronic underlying medical conditions.
The swine flu count in the United States now stands at 2,254 confirmed cases and 722 probable cases in 44 states, with 104 hospitalizations, federal health officials said Saturday.
"We had expected more cases and we are continuing to find them," Dr. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for science and public health program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a morning teleconference.
The jump in confirmed cases is partly due to the reduction in the backlog of testing for infections. But the number of confirmed cases is probably an underestimation of the total number of actual cases as the virus continues to spread, Schuchat said.
"Transmission here in the U.S. is ongoing. This is a very easily transmittable virus," she said. "Fortunately, the severity of illness that we're seeing, at this point, doesn't look as terrible as a category-five pandemic or the severely devastating impact some had feared. But influenza viruses are unpredictable and can change over time. Going forward, it's really important to us that we pay attention to how this virus may or may not change."
Because the new swine flu virus is a highly unusu
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