First flu death this season in Monroe County
Updated: Tuesday, February 4 2014, 07:30 PM EST
The Monroe County Health Department confirms an adult in Monroe County has died of complications from the flu. It isn’t known if this person had other underlying medical issues.
This is the first death this season from the H1N1 virus. That’s the same strain of flu that caused a pandemic in 2009. The virus attacks younger people ages 10 through 40 and attacks the respiratory tract, causing bronchitis and sometimes, pneumonia.
Though the vaccine covers that flu strain, it is still possible for people who got the shot to get sick. But Dr. John Treanor, Chief of Infectious Diseases at UR Medicine at Strong Hospital says their symptoms would be much less severe.
The Health Department says there have been 909 confirmed cases of the flu in Monroe County, though the numbers are likely much higher than that because most people aren’t tested. That number only reflects those who had lab tests confirming the flu.
200 of those with the flu had to be hospitalized because of complications.
Dr. Treanor said the flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by about 50 percent, but is still worth getting because of the severity of the influenza virus this year.
He said pregnant women and the morbidly obese are at higher risk of complications from the flu, as are people with heart or lung problems. He said people with those risk factors should see the doctor if they think they have the flu.