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Swine Flu Claims 2nd Florida Victim

June 25th, 2009 by flanews

Swine Flu has claimed the life of a 30 year-old Seminole County woman, marking the second death from the H1N1 virus in Florida. The number of Floridians with the illness has grown to 556. As Whitney Ray tells us, the state is planning to use schools to fight the outbreak if it worsens.

The H1N1 Swine Flu Virus has claimed the lives of two Floridians. A 9 year-old boy became the first victim. A 30 year-old Seminole County woman died earlier this week. In both cases other illnesses contributed to the deaths.

“We will probably see more hospitalizations and perhaps more deaths involved with this,” said Doc Kokol, a spokesman with the Florida Department of Health.

The number of swine flu cases in Florida has quietly risen to 556 since the first case was confirmed in May. Scott McPherson, a pandemic expert, says the virus poses a serious threat.

“This is a very new, very young virus it has not entrenched itself in everyplace in this country yet, but it is continuing to grow. It is continuing to infect people,” said McPherson.

Swine flu has claimed 127 lives nationwide, 17 in the past week, and if the pandemic gets worse, schools could become key to helping fight an outbreak. School districts have pandemic plans in place.

“There is actually a state plan, in the case of a huge natural disaster to turn certain schools in every district into mini clinics and mini hospitals if we have to,” said Wayne Blanton, with the Florida School Boards Association.

Swine flu vaccinations could also be administered at schools once enough doses have been produced. It’s important to note that the seasonal flu claims 36,000 lives in the US every year, far more than the 127 swine flu victims in America since April.

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