ND reports 1st swine flu deathBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's first swine flu-related death was a man who was older than 60, had other health problems and had not been vaccinated against the illness, state officials said Monday.
By: DALE WETZEL, Associated Press
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's first swine flu-related death was a man who was older than 60, had other health problems and had not been vaccinated against the illness, state officials said Monday.
Dr. Terry Dwelle, North Dakota's health officer, declined to disclose other details about the case other than to say the man lived in the northwestern part of the state and was ill with the flu, also known as H1N1, for only a few days before he died.
"This loss should remind us that influenza, whether seasonal flu or H1N1, can be a serious illness," Dwelle said.
President Barack Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency. More than 1,000 people across the United States have died from it.
North Dakota health officials say the state has more than 1,200 confirmed flu cases, and they estimate about 1,100 are of the H1N1 variety.
Kirby Kruger, a Health Department disease specialist, said the disease spreads easily, and it will be several weeks before North Dakota gets enough swine flu vaccine to make it generally available.
The state is expecting about 21,000 doses of vaccine this week, which will be reserved for health care workers, pregnant women and children aged 6 months through 5 years old, Kruger said.
"It is arriving in ... smaller allotments than what we earlier had anticipated," he said, describing the short supply as "extremely frustrating."