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N.C. reports another swine flu death

Health officials say a 55-year-old Brevard man diagnosed with swine flu has died.

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BREVARD, N.C. — Health officials say a 55-year-old man diagnosed with swine flu died this week.

The man was admitted to a Transylvania County hospital on Monday with pneumonia and flu-like symptoms. He died on Tuesday, county Health Department Director Steve Smith said.

Tests confirmed the man had H1N1 swine flu, Smith said Friday. But he said further tests are needed to determine if the flu caused his death.

The man's name was not released. Officials said he was the first confirmed death associated with swine flu in the western North Carolina county.

Three other deaths in the state have also been attributed to the virus.

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.

On June 26, a patient diagnosed with H1N1 died in Greensboro.

In Wilson County, a woman died from the virus in Wilson County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes swine flu has likely infected more than 1 million Americans, with many of those suffering mild cases never reported. There have been 302 deaths since April.

Health officials say one of the best ways to help lower risk to the flu is to practice basic prevention tips, including frequent hand washing, avoiding others exhibiting symptoms and staying at home, if sick.

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