Swine flu cited in death of Windsor teen

Published 9:27 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

Swine flu contributed to the death on Wednesday of a female teenager from Windsor, according to officials from the Virginia Health Department.

A press release from Isle of Wight County Schools confirmed the girl was a Windsor High School student, but she has not attended or visited school since last school year.

Dr. Lisa McCoy, director of the Western Tidewater Health District, said Friday the girl had an underlying health condition that put her at risk of greater complications from the flu.

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Officials said they were still awaiting an official determination of the cause of the girl’s death.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the patient’s family at this time of loss,” said State Health Commissioner Karen Remley. “Losing a child is a tragedy for all of us.”

The virus, which health department officials are referring to as novel influenza A (H1N1), has predominantly affected younger people, and studies have shown that people older than 64 appear to have at least partial immunity to the strain, possibly from exposure to a similar virus years ago, according to the health department.

As of Windsor, the Centers for Disease Control had reported 593 deaths nationwide from the virus.