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2 People Die of Influenza A Over the Weekend

Posted August. 17, 2009 07:02,   


Two people died over the weekend from Influenza A (H1N1), health authorities said yesterday.

The Health, Welfare and Family Affairs Ministry’s central influenza control center confirmed that a 63-year-old woman being treated for Influenza A and acute respiratory syndrome died yesterday. This followed the death of a 56-year-old man Saturday from acute pneumonia and septicemia arising from complications from the flu after visiting Thailand.

Since the woman had never traveled abroad, health authorities say she likely contracted the disease from an unidentified neighbor. She experienced cough, fever, throat and muscle aches July 24 but received no specific treatment until July 30, when she visited the emergency room of a university hospital in Seoul due to worsening respiratory problems.

When she did not get better even after taking antibiotics for bacterial disease, doctors began giving her Tamiflu from Aug. 4. She was moved to the intensive care unit after being confirmed to have Influenza A by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Aug. 8.

The official cause of her death was multiple organ failure, pulmonary edema and acute respiratory syndrome. Her husband and medical doctors all tested negative for the virus.

The 56-year-old man was admitted to a hospital after being diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia after experiencing high fever and respiratory trouble Aug. 8. After testing positive for Influenza A Saturday morning, he soon died of pneumonia and septicemia.

In the wake of their deaths, health authorities strengthened their initial response. Though they only gave antiviral drugs to patients with fever and other respiratory symptoms, they decided to give drugs to those respiratory symptoms and run virus tests.

They also plan to expand testing to all pneumonia and acute respiratory syndrome patients by immediately releasing 500,000 doses of Tamiflu, or 10 percent of the government’s stock.

With 57 new cases of Influenza A reported yesterday, the number of infected people has grown to 2,089 in Korea, with two of them dying over the weekend.