|Dr. Damon Arnold updated residents in Chicago.|
Chicago reports 12th US swine flu death
CHICAGO - A Chicago resident has died of swine flu, the first death in Illinois and the 12th nationally, from the illness, health authorities said yesterday.
Authorities in Mexico, where the swine flu outbreak was identified in April, announced three more deaths, raising its total to 83, and Canada reported its second death.
"With as many cases of H1N1 influenza that have been reported in Illinois, we have been concerned that there would be fatalities," said Dr. Damon Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The state lists 896 confirmed cases of the illness, known both as H1N1 and swine flu. Before the latest reports, the World Health Organization tallied at least 91 deaths around the globe from more than 12,500 swine flu cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 10 deaths and 6,700 cases in the United States, most of them mild. New York health officials reported another death over the weekend.
At least 46 countries have confirmed cases, according to WHO. Puerto Rico reported its first case yesterday, making it the second Caribbean island to confirm the illness. The man is recuperating at home.
Arnold said in a statement that the victim in Chicago had other medical conditions, but authorities released no other information about the person. The health department said the victim died over the weekend.
Arnold said that although public attention to the outbreak has waned, people with high-risk medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung disease, and pregnancy should be particularly cautious.
In Canada, officials said yesterday that a Toronto man who had swine flu and a chronic medical condition died Saturday. Dr. David Williams, Ontario's acting chief medical officer of health, said in a statement the coroner was investigating to determine what role swine flu played in the fatality.
Mexico announced three more deaths tied to swine flu, and officials there unveiled a $90 million campaign aimed at luring back tourists. The government-funded push will feature ads with opera singer Placido Domingo, champion golfer Lorena Ochoa, and other national heroes.