Health department reports one more death from H1N1

Oct 30 2009 - 12:42pm

Northern Utah health officials reported their fourth fatality in the last month from the H1N1 virus -- the latest death being a woman living in the Weber-Morgan Health District.

The Utah Public Health Department released a report Wednesday that notes a total of 12 deaths related to Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) since Aug. 30,the beginning of the flu season. That is four more deaths than reported last week.

The Wednesday death of Diane Pugmire, attributed to bacterial pneumonia with complications from H1N1, was not within the reporting period.

In the state update, Utah health officials describe the severity of the overall outbreak of all types of influenza as "very unusual" for this time of year.

Davis County is typical of that report, which covers Oct. 21-27. "We've got widespread influenza activity in the county. This time of year we don't usually see much, if any," said Lewis Garrett, Davis County Health director.

The seasonal flu fatality list includes two Davis County women who died from H1N1, also called the swine flu, said Garrett.

The latest swine flu victim in the Weber-Morgan District is their second person to die this flu season, the third this year, according to district spokeswoman Lori Buttars.

The names and ages of the victims are not released by health districts.

County leaders in Utah are taking varying approaches to the sporadic deliveries of the H1N1 vaccine to help further prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Davis County has scheduled another H1N1 vaccination clinic for Tuesday, but has only 4,700 doses available for people in the targeted population -- double the number of doses available in the previous mass immunization clinic. Tickets with time slots will be handed out to people in line.

Garrett said more than 15,000 people have been vaccinated so far, despite the number of people turned away from the clinics when the vaccine supply ran out.

Woods Cross resident Dixie Weeks recently voiced her concern about the vaccination process. Her family members were turned away from a clinic.

Weeks said she understands the vaccination availability in Utah is subject to a fluid national distribution process as international manufacturers rush to make the vaccine.

"It does not look like it has been done very well," said Weeks, grandmother to four children.

The Davis County Health Department's supply of seasonal flu vaccine is temporarily out. The next shipment is expected sometime during November.

The Weber-Morgan Health Department immunization process is by appointment. The district will start booking next week's appointments on Monday. The number of weekly appointments is based on vaccine availability.

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