A 10-year-old boy is the third New Jersey resident with H1N1 influenza to die. The child, who had underlying medical conditions, was hospitalized June 14 after developing a cough and fever. He died Wednesday at Morristown Memorial Hospital.
New Jersey currently has 415 confirmed cases of the novel flu virus in 19 counties, with 252 probable cases awaiting confirmatory testing by the state laboratory.
Two other two New Jersey residents to die with H1N1 influenza were a 49-year-old West Orange man, Michael Reiser, who died June 13 at Mountainside Hospital in Glen Ridge, and a 15-year-old boy who died June 8 at home in Somerset County.
Some symptoms of H1N1 influenza — fever, body ache, cough, sore throat, chills, fatigue, and in some cases diarrhea and vomiting — are similar to those of seasonal flu.
State epidemiologist Christina Tan has said people with conditions including weakened immune systems and respiratory ailments are more likely to develop severe cases of H1N1 influenza.
The virus, recently declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, has now reached 88 countries. On Wednesday the WHO reported 39,620 cases have been confirmed worldwide, included 167 deaths. The United States has reported 17,855 confirmed cases with 44 deaths, according to the WHO.
The best way for people to protect themselves is to practice good hygiene. People are advised to cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue, wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and stay home from work or school for a week if experiencing a fever of 100 degrees or higher with a cough or sore throat.
To learn more, view the Full Star-Ledger coverage of the Swine flu in New Jersey
Melissa Lawrence, Social Marketing Administrator, VERTICES, LLC