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Michigan: Warren woman state’s first swine flu death

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  • Michigan: Warren woman state’s first swine flu death

    Officials: Warren woman state’s first ‘swine flu’ death
    By Brian C. Louwers
    C & G Staff Writer

    WARREN — A 53-year-old Warren woman has been confirmed as the state’s first death linked to the H1N1 “swine flu” strain, state and county officials said on June 3.

    According to James McCurtis, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Community Health, the woman reportedly passed away at a hospital in Macomb County on June 1.

    “She lived in Warren. She also had underlying illnesses, but she died from complications of H1N1,” McCurtis said.

    According to the MDCH’s Web site, 298 cases of the HIN1 flu strain had been confirmed in Michigan across 34 counties as of 5 p.m. on June 2. Among that number, the site listed 20 cases in Macomb County, 68 cases in Oakland County, and 15 cases in Wayne County.

    Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 11,054 probable and confirmed cases of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) resulting in 17 deaths as of 11 a.m. on June 3.

    “There’s no reason for anybody to panic or become alarmed. It’s unfortunate that we lost someone because of the H1N1 virus. At the same time, this is not something that’s unexpected,” McCurtis added. “So far with this flu across the country we’ve had 17 deaths. Ten thousand people have been confirmed or probable. It isn’t out of the ordinary to see a death. It’s unfortunate, though.”

    McCurtis said the woman, who was not further identified by officials, had been sick for approximately two weeks before she died.

    “We already knew she had the strain,” he added.

    McCurtis and Macomb County Public Affairs Director Phil Frame encouraged residents to follow common sense measures designed to prevent the spread of the influenza virus.

    “Wash your hands as much as you can and cover coughs and sneezes. Stay at home when you’re sick. Don’t come to work and spread the germs around,” Frame said. “The CDC says this is no more deadly than any other strain of flu.”

    Citing statistics available to him, Frame said the county reported 62,000 cases of influenza-like illness in 2006. The number of deaths reported in that period was not readily available.

    You can reach Staff Writer Brian C. Louwers at or (586) 498-1089.