TOPEKA, Kan. - A 72-year-old woman from the Wichita metro area has died from infection with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.
It is important to note that the number of deaths confirmed to be caused by pandemic H1N1 influenza under-represents the true number of deaths; many more deaths may have been caused by the virus in Kansas. Numbers are not complete because routine testing for H1N1 was stopped earlier this year because once a patient has acquired a flu-like illness, those with the swine flu are offered the same medications as thought with just seasonal flu.
The great majority of all influenza or pneumonia-related deaths that occur (pneumonia is the most common severe complication of influenza) do not have a confirmatory lab result associated with them.
Though the vaccine is not yet widely available in all counties to all Kansans, Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, Kansas State Health Officer, points out, "Healthy adults are susceptible to severe complications of the pandemic H1N1 flu virus."