Officials have confirmed that a woman in Texas’s southernmost county, Cameron County, has died of swine flu:
Health authorities today reported a second death in the United States from swine flu — a woman in south Texas — even as the federal government rescinded its recommendation that schools shut down if they have any suspected cases of the virus.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced this afternoon that a woman from Cameron County, the southernmost county in the state, died earlier this week after contracting swine flu. It said she had “chronic underlying health conditions” but did not elaborate or provide any other details on the woman.
The Brownsville Herald provides a few significant details:
Health officials say the victim had been pregnant. She gave birth and they say the newborn is doing fine.
Cameron County Judge Carlos H. Cascos said although residents should remain cautious, they should not be alarmed. Cascos said the woman, along with the toddler from Mexico, who also died from swine flu last month, both had underlying health conditions.
Media reports reveal the woman had been battling the flu for about two weeks.
The toddler had a chronic respiratory condition diagnosed at birth. During the couple of weeks before he died, he developed a high fever and later pneumonia. He died at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
I haven’t been able to determine from published sources whether the woman had recently visited Mexico.
Sad as they are neither of these cases represents what we should be worrying about for a pandemic. What we should be worrying about are deaths of otherwise healthy young adults who definitely contracted the disease via human-to-human transmission.
Absent a sharply increasing death rate among this group in the United States I think we should be revisiting the deaths in Mexico for some underlying health problem in those who died of swine flu there.