First Travis County death from H1N1 confirmed



Posted on December 20, 2013 at 7:34 PM

AUSTIN -- The first confirmed death from H1N1 in Travis County is being reported by the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, and another death is being investigated.

The name of the victim hasn't been released, but doctors told KVUE that he or she was otherwise healthy and under the age of 65. The Travis County Health Department said they did not know whether the person had received a flu shot, but that it's extremely important for people to get it right away.

Seton Hospital officials told KVUE that they have five people critically ill from H1N1.

The H1N1 influenza A virus, also called the swine flu, is being suspected in the deaths of seven people across Texas. It has also critically injured 14 others.

A 41-year-old father is one of six people who died in Houston this month, less than a week after he started feeling sick. Near Dallas a 30-year-old died after spending 10 days in the hospital.

This same strand of H1N1 killed nine people in Austin in 2009.

“Typically flu most impacts those 65 and older and children. However, similar to 2009, the highest risk for severe illness are persons under 65 years of age with underlying conditions such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes or the presence of other factors such obesity and pregnancy," Medical Director for Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Dr. Phil Huang said.

Flu season runs as late as May, so it's not too late to get a flu shot.

"The circulating flu in our community is very closely matched with what's in the flu vaccine this year. So, the 2009 H1N1 is in that flu vaccine formulation. So, we really recommend anyone who is six months or older to get the flu vaccine," Huang said.

This year's flu vaccine includes coverage for H1N1. Health and Human Services officials are urging everyone to get a flu shot as soon as possible. They also say to wash your hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are feeling sick.

For more information about the flu, go here.