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Pediatric Deaths in
Flu-Infested Schools in KY KS and OK
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced two deaths in connection with the H1N1 flu virus this morning.
Both cases involve "northeast Kansas," but a specific county or location was not given.
A 16-year-old died from a case of the virus
A teenage Cleveland County girl has died from swine flu, bringing the number of deaths from the new strain of influenza virus to three since it emerged in the U.S. in April, health officials said Thursday.
The girl was described as between the ages of 15 and 19.
The above comments describe fatal infections in teenagers in KY, KS, and OK. The death in KY is just north of H1N1 outbreaks (see map) in northern TN (see map). Similarly there have been multiple outbreaks in northeast Kansas (see map) and the Cleveland County area in OK (see map).
These three fatalities follow reports of deaths in a school in SC that was closed because of excessive absenteeism and a school in CO where absenteeism exceeded 10%. These five deaths, announce over a 24 hour period raise concerns that the massive outbreaks associated with the start of the new school year are leading to unnecessary student deaths in schools over-run with swine flu, which was recently seen in outbreaks in the south following the start of the school year in early August.
Most of these cases involve previously healthy students, who in several instances are star athletes who die shortly after infection. Deaths in this age group are rare. Pediatric fatalities due to seasonal flu have been less than 100 for each year following the requirement for mandatory reporting of pediatric deaths, so five reported deaths in a 24 hour period are cause for concern.