Second area death reported from H1N1 virus

Reported by Frances Weller - bio|email
Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Lauren Thomson - email
Updated by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington man has died from the H1N1 virus, according to NHRMC's infection control physician Dr. Paul Kamitsuka.

Officials at New Hanover Regional Medical Center say the 53-year-old man was admitted October 15 with severe flu-like symptoms, and died last week.

A 25-year-old pregnant woman from Brunswick County also died last week from the virus after being transferred to Duke Hospitals.  Health officials are staying tight-lipped about the case, but say the man was a healthy individual.

According to officials, there have been 25 confirmed cases of H1N1 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, but health experts say the number is grossly underestimated.

The hospital is only counting the cases that go through the ICU, which means all the mild or moderate cases aren't added in the total.

Most of the complications come from developing severe pneumonia and extreme shortness of breath.

Experts from New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the Health Department held a press conference Wednesday to answer questions about the H1N1 virus.  They say it is important that everyone get vaccinated.

Currently the health department does not have any H1N1 vaccines in stock, but expects to see more doses trickle in.

During an interview on Carolina in the Morning, Dr. Sam Spicer pointed out the high risk categories for H1N1 are pregnant women and children under 5 in one group, and the second group is children ages 5-24 who have chronic and underlying diseases.

Children over the age of 5 and senior citizens are considered in the tier two of need for getting the H1N1 vaccine, according to Spicer.  He says those folks could still go to the health department and get on the waiting list for a vaccination.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Spicer by clicking on the video thumbnail to the right.

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