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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 17, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160
Thomas Slater
(609) 984-7160


 
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Confirms 2nd Novel H1N1 Influenza-Related Death


 

The Department of Health and Senior Services today announced a second death of a New Jersey resident with novel H1N1 influenza.

 

The individual was a 15-year old Somerset County male who died at home on June 8 after developing symptoms that included fever, vomiting, coughing and congestion. The state lab confirmed today that the young man had H1N1 influenza.

 

Because the young man died at home, an autopsy was required. The state Medical Examiner’s Office continues to investigate the cause of death as well as other possible contributing medical factors.

 

“This death is tragic; I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to this young man’s family and friends,’’ said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard. “Influenza is a serious illness that can unfortunately lead to death. We continue to monitor this novel H1N1 influenza to watch for any change. We urge New Jersey residents to remain vigilant and take proper precautions to protect themselves and their families.”

 

The young man was last in school on June 5 and had no symptoms. Local health officials have been monitoring influenza-like illness in the school—as recently as today—and have found no unusual activity.

 

To date, New Jersey has 367 confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in 19 counties. There are also 236 probable cases pending confirmatory testing in the state lab.

 

Nationally, there are 17,855 confirmed and probable cases in 50 states.  There have been 44 deaths in the United States. Approximately 74 countries worldwide have confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza. 

 

“The Department will continue to monitor the H1N1 outbreak,” said Commissioner Howard. “We have also posted guidance for summer residential camps to help decrease the spread of H1N1 influenza and other infectious diseases.”

 

The Department will continue to update its website with information to help all New Jersey residents stay apprised of the latest information regarding the H1N1 outbreak.

 

Commissioner Howard continues to urge all New Jersey residents to take preventive measures to avoid getting sick. These include:

 

•         Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly

•         Covering coughs and sneezes

•         Staying home from work or school if you are sick

 

H1N1 influenza is a novel respiratory illness caused by type A influenza. People do not normally get H1N1 influenza, but human infections can and do happen.

 

The symptoms of H1N1 influenza in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been associated with H1N1 influenza in people, especially in Mexico for reasons that are not known. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 influenza might cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

 

For more information on H1N1 Influenza, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu or www.nj.gov/health.

 
 
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