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First swine flu death reported in state

The first swine flu death in Mississippi has been reported, the state Department of Health announced. The victim is a child from Jackson County.

The Health Department said the victim had multiple underlying conditions.

“The death of any child for any reason is tragic,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier. “At this time, there have been 353 deaths attributed to Novel H1N1 (swine) flu throughout the country which is about the same death rate that we see with seasonal influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year, on average, 36,000 Americans die from complications due to seasonal flu.”

According to Dr. Currier, Novel swine flu responds well to traditional anti-viral medications. The very young, the elderly, pregnant women and the chronically ill may be at higher risk for complications.

The Sun Herald will update this story as details become available.