Swine flu takes life of teenager from Junction

The recent death of a Grand Junction teenager was Mesa County’s first pediatric death related to the H1N1 virus, the Mesa County Health Department said in a news release Thursday.

In addition to the flu virus, the teenager had severe underlying medical conditions, the Health Department said, adding it would not identify the child or provide any other details about the case out of respect for the family’s privacy.

H1N1 flu activity appeared to peak during the last week of October, when the county reported 20 people hospitalized. There have been 95 hospitalized cases to date in Mesa County. Two people were hospitalized last week, the Health Department said.

Vaccine supplies continue to arrive in Mesa County. Appointments can be made for healthy children and young adults ages 5–24, and the vaccine will be administered from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Colorado has reported 56 flu-related deaths this year as of Nov. 28. Eleven of those deaths were in people up to age 24. The largest age group was in adults ages 50 to 64, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

During the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, 35 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported in the United States, and 27 of those deaths were associated with laboratory confirmed 2009 H1N1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since April, the agency has received reports of an estimated 198 pediatric deaths because of the H1N1 virus.

For information or to schedule an appointment for a vaccination, call the Health Department at 248-6989, or go to http://www.health.mesacounty.us.


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