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First Swine Flu Related Death in LA County Confirmed

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A middle-aged woman with health problems died late May after contracting swine flu, otherwise known as Influenza A (H1N1), the LA County Department of Health is reporting this morning.

“Every death is regrettable, but given the number of H1N1 cases in Los Angeles, identifying the new H1N1 strain in someone who passed away with severe respiratory disease is not unexpected. This flu strain continues to follow a pattern similar to regular seasonal flu,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer in an e-mail. “The overall number of confirmed new flu A H1N1 cases is decreasing. Most cases of this new flu in the United States have been moderate to mild, similar to the regular, seasonal influenza that we already know."

As of last Friday, there were 73 confirmed cases of the new flu in LA County with 43 probable cases, according to statistics with the California Department of Public Health. Nationally, there have been over 10,000 confirmed and probable cases and 17 deaths, says the CDC.