Death of Eastern Iowa child linked to H1N1 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Death of Eastern Iowa child linked to H1N1

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting the first death of a child linked to H1N1.

They say the child was from eastern Iowa, died in October and had "factors that increased the risk of complications from H1N1."

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says, "Surveillance is showing a steady increase in pediatric illness and hospitalizations.  This death is a somber reminder of the importance of protecting Iowa's children from this flu."

The Centers for Disease Control says all children, especially those 5 years old and younger and those with chronic medical conditions, have an increased risk for complications and death from the flu.

They say even those kids that are otherwise healthy can have complications with severe or fatal outcomes after an influenza infection.

Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to the seasonal flu and include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. A significant number of people with H1N1 have also reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Remember, if your child is sick, it is important they drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest.

Also remember, children under the age of 18 should not take aspirin when they have the flu.

In children, warning signs indicating the need for urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting with people and things around them
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough

All children greater than 6 months of age and their caregivers, and those living with children less than six months of age should receive seasonal influenza vaccine and be among the priority target group for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

For more information about H1N1 influenza, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/h1n1. Iowans with questions about H1N1 may also call the toll-free Influenza Hotline at 1-800-447-1985.

Online Content Manager: Eric Page

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