Woman dies of swine flu
Fri, 09 Jul 2010 7:52a.m.
A Bay of Plenty woman is believed to be the country's first death from swine flu this year.
The woman, whose details have not been released, died from complications from swine flu, or the H1N1 virus, after being in hospital for "a few weeks", Bay of Plenty District Health Board medical officer of health Phil Shoemack told the Bay of Plenty Times.
So far this year four people around the country have been treated in intensive care units for swine flu, said the Ministry of Health's director of public health Mark Jacobs.
"Overall influenza activity continues to increase and is at the level usually seen at this time of year."
The pandemic influenza virus was circulating in communities but the number of people seeing their general practitioners with flu symptoms remained below the baseline level of 50 consultations per 100,000 people, according to ministry figures.
"As was the case last year, although most people get over the infection without developing complications or becoming more seriously ill, this is not the case for everyone," Dr Jacobs said.
Swine flu is now the most common influenza virus circulating around the globe and 80 percent of all influenza cases in New Zealand are likely to be H1N1.
Last year 20 deaths were attributed to swine flu but it is believed another 15 could be put down to the virus.
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