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Rock County has second swine flu-related death

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GINA R. HEINE
October 30, 2009
— Another Rock County resident died this week from the swine flu, Health Officer Karen Cain said.

She declined to release the gender, age or any other information about the person, citing a request from the family.


It is the second H1N1-related death in Rock County, she said.


"For most people, the 2009 H1N1 flu is not severe, but it can be more serious in certain high-risk populations: those with underlying health conditions," Cain said in a statement. "We continue to recommend that individuals who are at high risk for severe disease from H1N1 influenza get vaccinated to protect themselves against H1N1 when vaccine becomes available."


Swine flu cases are not required to be reported to health officials, so it's not known how prevalent it is, she said. Anecdotally, however, officials know swine flu has spread throughout the community.


Public schools are closed today and Friday for a statewide teacher conference.


"To me, that's good news," Cain said.


Rock County's first swine flu death was reported in early October. It also was the state's first swine flu death since spring. That person had "underlying medical conditions" that contributed to the death, officials said.


On Wednesday, the state Department of Health Services said four more people in the state died from the swine flu, bringing the total to 14 since spring. Department spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said Wednesday the deaths reported over the last week included one in Eau Claire County, two in Milwaukee County and one in Oconto County.


Since Sept. 1, 70 hospitalizations in Wisconsin have been attributed to H1N1, state health officials said Wednesday.


Vaccination clinics

The health department announced Thursday it has canceled next week's swine flu vaccinations in the Beloit and Parkview school districts because of the vaccine shortage.


Instead, a community swine flu vaccination clinic will be 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Boulevard, Beloit. Vaccinations are free. Health officials are targeting the highest risk people among the high-risk populations for vaccination. Those are pregnant women; children ages 6 months to 2 years; health care and emergency medical providers who have direct contact with patients or infectious materials; parents, siblings and day care providers who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months; and people ages 5 to 18 years who have chronic medical conditions that put them at risk for flu-related complications.


The nasal spray is only available to healthy children ages 2 to 4; healthy people ages 5 to 49 who live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months, and healthy health care workers and emergency medical services personnel up to age 49 who have direct contact with patients or infectious material.


The clinic at the Beloit library will provide the intranasal spray vaccine and hopefully the vaccine injections.


The health department has been flooded with phone calls. Cain said she appreciates callers' patience and recommends trying the flu hotline first at (608) 741-5200.



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