Another Italian has, alas, probably fallen victim to the AH1N1 or swine flu virus. Unlike the previous death which had been caused perhaps indirectly by a swine flu infection, this time the female victim was apparently in a good state of health. UPDATE: See main post update for details of a third suspected victim.
At the time of writing, no press release has been issued by the Italian Health Ministry on the case of the 46 year old woman who died at the weekend in a hospital in Messina, Sicily. An autopsy is being carried out to identify the exact cause of death.
Reports in the Italian press give the reason for death as being pneumonia, a known, but rare complication which can result from swine flu infections.
What is significant about this case is that, unlike the previous victim, and as stated previously, the lady concerned did not appear to be suffering from other illnesses, and was not a smoker either. This means that the case in Messina is potentially the first real death caused by swine flu in Italy.
8,000 Suspected Swine Flu Infections in Italy
To date there have been around 2,400 confirmed cases of swine flu in Italy, although it is suspected that the total number of infections is around 8,000. Another 5 Italians are hospitals in Monza, Mantua, Florence, Rome and Cesena with swine flu related complications. These people are reported to be in a serious, but stable, condition.
UPDATE: 22 September 2009
Another Italian has apparently fallen victim to swine flu in Italy.
A Lady in hospital in Cesena died today as a result of complications which are said to have been brought about by swine flu. The lady in question was not in a good state of health prior to contracting the AH1N1 virus.
Once the results of the autopsy on the woman in Messina are out, I’ll update this post.
Italy’s health minister, Ferruccio Fazio, is calling for people not to panic, and a mass vaccination program for those at greatest risk is due to begin shortly.
Ansa.it: 21 September, 2009: Influenza A: Fazio, paziente Messina probabile prima vittima – Swine Flu: Fazio, Messina patient a probable first victim
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