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Family: Cumberland Co. boy who died had H1N1 flu

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  • Family: Cumberland Co. boy who died had H1N1 flu

    Family: Cumberland Co. boy who died had H1N1 flu
    Posted: Oct 05, 2009 4:14 PM CDT

    CROSSVILLE (WATE) -- The family of a Cumberland County boy who died recently confirmed that he tested positive for H1N1 flu.

    Nathan Stone's official cause of death is unknown, but his parents speculate he had complications from pneumonia.

    His family said Nathan had underlying conditions, but they didn't compromise his immune system.

    They also said Nathan had a seizure disorder and developmental delays.

    His family took him to the doctor several times, then to the emergency room at Cumberland Medical Center.

    From there, Nathan was sent to East Tennessee Children's Hospital in Knoxville.

  • #2
    Re: Family: Cumberland Co. boy who died had H1N1 flu


    Published: October 07, 2009 08:50 am

    Child dies of H1N1 flu complications
    By Heather Mullinix /

    Nathan Stone, the four-year-old son of Kirt and Tracy Stone and a student at Homestead Elementary School, died Sunday at East Tennessee Children's Hospital after developing pneumonia.

    Cathy Largent, who is acting as a spokesperson for the family, said Nathan had been hospitalized for the past two weeks.

    "He was admitted at Cumberland Medical Center and was there for three days," Largent said. "When he was transferred to Children's Hospital, they did test for the virus and it was positive."

    A fund has been established at First Bank to help the Stone family with expenses. Donations can be made at any First Bank branch or by mail to the Nathan Stone Memorial Fund, c/o First Bank, P.O. Box 1047, Crossville, TN 38557.

    Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time, but are being handled by Hood Funeral Home in Crossville.

    Across the state, five children have died as a result of H1N1 virus. The Tennessee Department of Health cannot confirm if any of those deaths are in Cumberland County.

    "The death of a child from flu is reportable to the department of health, but we do not have information on when or where the death occurred," said Shelly Walker, communications and marketing coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Health. "We know H1N1 is widespread across the state, and we expect waves of the virus to continue. While any death is tragic, it does not indicate the virus is more severe."

    Walker noted that H1N1 is very similar to seasonal flu, and the state sees about 700 deaths from seasonal flu each year.

    What is different about H1N1 is that it is impacting more children and young adults than is commonly seen with seasonal flu, Walker said, and that is why young people or those that come into contact with young people are urged to be vaccinated against H1N1.

    Largent said while she does not know if schools should be closed or not, she knows many parents are worried.

    "People are scared and they are concerned," she said. "Some students come to school sick because the parents don't have anywhere else to take them or the student won't let the parents know how they feel."

    On Monday, the county's attendance dropped to about 87 percent, down from the 90 percent attendance rate of last week. One school was at 81 percent attendance.

    Bruce Simmons, director of curriculum and instruction for grades K-5, said many principals were trying to work with families with ill children to allow the children to stay home and recuperate but still stay current with their school work.

    Walker said there are simple things people can do to protect themselves from the virus, such as washing hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

    People should also avoid touching their face, as the virus could be on their hands and enter their bodies through the mouth, nose or eyes.

    When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve. If you don't have a tissue or sleeve, use the crook of the arm.

    Most importantly, stay home until you are fever free for 24 hours without medication.

    "Don't try to be a hero," Walker said. "And it isn't just staying home from school and work, but staying home from church activities or going to the store. The idea is to self isolate so you aren't spreading the virus."

    Vaccination is also a precaution people can take.

    The first batch of H1N1 virus is expected to be available in parts of Tennessee this week, she said.

    Walker noted children under six months of age could not receive the vaccine.

    "That's why it's important for people to be vaccinated," Walker said, "so they can protect those who are too young or cannot be vaccinated."

    The vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, health care providers and emergency medical responders, people care for infants under the age of 6 months, children and people age 6 months to 24 years, and people age 25 to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions.

    Those with an allergy to eggs or other substances in the vaccine should not get the H1N1 vaccine.

    There have been questions of health care providers not testing for the virus. Walker said that, in most cases, testing was not necessary because treatment for H1N1 is the same as seasonal flu treatment.

    "You don't want to delay starting treatment for two to three days waiting on a lab test," she said. "If you are showing signs of the flu, it's best to call your regular health care provider."

    Some patients could develop serious symptoms that would need emergency treatment, such as fast breathing or trouble breathing in children, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or interacting, being so irritable the child does not want to be held, flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough, fever with a rash. In adults, look for shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion and severe or persistent vomiting.

    For more information about H1N1 virus, visit the Tennessee Department of Health Web site at, or call the flu information line at 1-877-252-3432.