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ALERT: DOH confirms 21-year-old Los Alamos woman who died Sunday from the H1N1 virus had no underlying health problems

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By The Staff

The New Mexico Department of Health has confirmed the 21-year-old Los Alamos woman who died Sunday from the H1N1 influenza had no underlying health problems.

She is the third woman to die from the virus in New Mexico this year and the only person without existing health issues prior to contracting H1N1, according to DOH.

The New Mexico Department of Health  is preparing to respond to the influenza.

• The Department of Health is working with providers throughout the state including hospitals, clinics, private providers and pharmacists, to provide vaccinations to protect people against the new strain of influenza (H1N1) and seasonal influenza. It is important to get protected against both strains of influenza.

• The Department is planning clinics statewide and will announce the dates, times and locations of clinics when they are scheduled.

• The Department of Health is planning for storage and distribution of antivirals, establishing an inventory of personal protective equipment, training hospitals on medical surge, and developing educational materials to explain what specialized populations can do to prevent and respond to flu cases.

• The Department is tracking hospitalized H1N1 cases and monitoring for a change in disease severity.

• The Department is recruiting health care professionals to help with vaccination clinics and potentially respond to an emergency.

To volunteer, access www.nmserves.org.

The 2009-10 flu season officially begins Oct. 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

CDC Synopsis:

During week 35 (Aug. 30-Sept. 5) influenza activity increased in the U.S.

  • During week 35:
    • 1,085 (20.5%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influenza Division were positive for influenza.
    • 97% of all subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
    • The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the epidemic threshold.
    • One influenza-associated pediatric death was reported and was associated with a 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection.
    • The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was above the national baseline. Regions 2, 4, 6, and 9 reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels.
    • Eleven states and Guam reported geographically widespread influenza activity, 13 states and Puerto Rico reported regional influenza activity, 10 states and the District of Columbia reported local influenza activity, 14 states reported sporadic influenza activity, two states reported no influenza activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.