First swine flu death reported in Sarasota

The Sarasota County Health Department reported today it has received notification of an H1N1 (Swine) Flu-related death in a 22 year old male resident. While most cases of H1N1 (Swine) Flu are mild, there are exceptions.

"This death is tragic and a sobering reminder that influenza is serious, and can be fatal. Our staff continues to monitor this disease in our community, and reminds residents to take precautions to avoid the flu,” said William Heymann, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., medical executive director for the Sarasota County Health Department.

People with respiratory illness should stay home, and away from work, day care or summer programs to avoid spreading infections, including influenza, to others in the community.

People experiencing cough, fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and sore throat, possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting, should contact their physician. Anyone who thinks they have influenza, should call their health care provider and discuss whether they should be seen in their office, emergency department or stay home.

For more information, visit For flu information in Sarasota County, call the Flu Information Line at 861-2800 or visit a health kiosk at all libraries and Senior Friendship Centers throughout Sarasota County.