Manatee reports second death from swine flu

County receives its first batch of only 600 nasal mist vaccines

October 14, 2009 

MANATEE — A 37-year-old woman has died from swine flu, the second confirmed H1N1 virus-related death in Manatee County, the Manatee County Health Department said Tuesday.

The county’s first batch of swine flu vaccines also arrived Tuesday, but only 600 of the nasal mist vaccines. The doses will be distributed today to local physicians, who will administer the vaccines, said Ronald Cox, Manatee County Health Department’s director of epidemiology.

The county had requested 1,700 doses.

“We certainly wish we had received more vaccines, but that’s what we got,” Cox said. “And we’re not sure when we’ll get the next round.”

The second patient to die from swine flu complications in Manatee had underlying medical conditions that put her at greater risk of complications from the H1N1 virus, officials said. That is similar to the first victim, a 27-year-old woman who died last month and also had an “underlying medical condition” that put her at greater risk. Officials declined to release any more information about either victim, including where they might have worked.

“We offer our sincere condolences to this individual’s family and friends for their loss,” said Dr. Jennifer Bencie, health department administrator, in a press release.

Flu activity is now widespread in 37 states, including Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Almost all current cases of flu are swine flu, local and national health officials say.

As of Friday, the rate of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths were increasing and are higher than expected, the CDC reported. Also last week, 19 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported, including one in Sarasota. A total of 76 confirmed H1N1 pediatric deaths in the United States have been reported to the CDC since April.

As of Oct. 4, more than 375,000 cases of swine flu have been confirmed worldwide and more than 4,500 deaths reported to the World Health Organization.

The state of Florida ordered 100,000 doses of the nasal mist, recommended for healthy people ages 2-49 who are not pregnant. Priority groups also include household caregivers and health-care providers.

The nasal spray vaccine is made with live, weakened viruses of the flu. A flu shot, which will contain a killed virus, will be available next and is approved for people 6 months and older, including people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women

For more information, visit or call the Florida Flu Information Line from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT at (877) 352-3581.

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