The faces of swine flu in North Texas

The Faces of H1N1

Credit: WFAA

The faces of H1N1



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Posted on October 8, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 2 at 4:53 PM

Questions about the swine flu are growing with the death rate. At least ten North Texans, including two yesterday, have died of the swine flu and what we know about them is as varied as the symptoms that killed them. The youngest was 11 - the oldest 63. Some were healthy, some had pre-existing conditions and that's where the frustration comes in.

Sick people don't know if what's plaguing them, also plagued the victims before their deaths. Right now, that's the big question. If you have flu-like symptoms should you be worried? Is there a common thread between all the recent deaths in North Texas?

The letter home from Johnston Elementary Tuesday never said it. A special-needs student with ongoing health issues died. The principal said he had flu-like symptoms, too. News 8 has now confirmed the child is 11-year-old Nathaniel Brandon Anderson and Dallas County Health Department confirmed he had H1N1. It also said a 63-year-old woman with health-issues died, too, from H1N1.

What their pre-existing conditions were is uncertain. "No one is exempt. We've got to take precautions. We've got to make sure we're taking care of ourselves," said Dallas County health director, Zachary Thompson.

Here's what we've gathered about the most recent deaths:

• Cynthia Garcia was only 11. She died September 13th and had no pre-existing conditions. She developed pneumonia and got a bacterial infection and fought the flu four days before succumbing to it.

• Two weeks later - 14-year-old Chloe Lindsey died. She, too, had no preexisting conditions. She developed pneumonia and died after five days.

• Two days later, Lana Trinh died. This 16-year-old did have a heart condition. • Then last Friday, Heather Provorse died. The 25-year-old had asthma and was obese. She fought the flu two weeks.

• Finally, Angela Ward died Monday. The 35-year-old teacher's assistant from Weatherford had Type A influenza. Her case is not a confirmed H1N1 case but, with pneumonia, she died after a five-day fight.

"I think what has really captivated the American public is this being a new virus and not having a vaccine," said Thompson. The first doses of the vaccine arrived in North Texas Monday - a precious few. Until the rest arrives, experts urge patience, not panic.