Health Team

N.C. reports second swine flu death

Posted June 26, 2009 6:08 p.m. EDT

— A second patient’s death has been attributed to the H1N1 influenza virus, Moses Cone Health System officials said Friday.

The adult patient died in Greensboro Friday afternoon. He may have initiated the exposure of infants in the Women’s Hospital of Greensboro Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to the virus, officials said.

“Federal law limits what we can say, however, we believe the virus aggravated pre-existing medical issues and contributed to the death,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Tim Lane, medical director at Infection Prevention Services.

Before this patient was diagnosed with H1N1, he was being treated for asthma complications. A staff respiratory therapist, who was not aware she had been exposed to H1N1, later came into contact with infants in the NICU.

After the patient was confirmed to have H1N1, staff at the NICU gave the 33 babies Tamiflu as a precautionary measure. The babies are past the likely incubation period for flu, officials said.

The first death attributed to the H1N1 virus was June 19 at Wesley Long Community Hospital. Officials said the Guilford County resident had an underlying medical condition. Lab tests following his death confirmed it was from the virus.