It proves that flu deaths still continue. Swine flu deaths are in
addition to the common flu deaths.
Fairbanks boy's death one of 43 child swine flu deaths in U.S.
By Christopher Eshleman
Published Wednesday, September 9, 2009
* Print story
* E-mail story
* Digg Digg
* del.icio.us delicious
* Facebook Facebook
* Add to Mixx! Mixx
* Reddit Reddit
* Stumble It!
FAIRBANKS — A 10-year-old student who died after contracting swine flu
was one of 43 such cases among children in the United States this
year, according to a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and
Doctors last weekend confirmed the boy, a Hunter Elementary School
student, had swine flu prior to his death Friday night at an Anchorage
The CDC has received 111 reports of influenza-associated pediatric
deaths in the United States since Sept. 28, David Daigle, a spokesman
for the center, said Tuesday. Of those, almost 40 percent were because
of swine (H1N1) flu, Daigle said.
Swine flu, which world health officials labeled a global pandemic
earlier this year, differs from more common seasonal influenza partly
because the most severe cases and deaths occur in people under age 50.
The number of flu-associated deaths among children has worried the
CDC, Daigle said.
"Typically, we have seen between 50 and 100 per year," Daigle,
referring to pediatric flu deaths in the United States, wrote in an e-
mail to the Daily News-Miner.
A handful of parents reported to the Fairbanks North Star Borough
School District that they were keeping their children home Tuesday
because of the boy's death, school district spokesman Bill Bailey
It was unclear Tuesday evening the degree to which parents' concern
about swine flu might have contributed to absences. Bailey said fewer
children, generally speaking, are attending school this year. The 92
percent attendance rate through the first three weeks is more than two
percentage points lower than last fall. That figure excluded Tuesday's
attendance numbers, which won't be available until today, he said.
Some parents called the district with concerns, asking how school
officials are controlling the spread of swine flu, Bailey said.
School officials are working with state education and health
specialists to monitor the flu and "make the best decisions about
student health and safety," Superintendent Nancy Wagner said in a
message through Bailey.
The Hunter student was the second of three swine flu-related deaths
reported in Alaska. State doctors late Tuesday reported the third, a
woman from Seward, was admitted to Providence hospital in Anchorage in
mid-August and died Aug. 28 "from a combination of respiratory and
other pre-existing medical conditions," according to a state news
Another child from Fairbanks also spent part of last weekend in an
Anchorage hospital with swine flu.
Clay Butcher, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and
Social Services, said he heard from the hospital that the second child
is recovering and was "in stable condition" as of Tuesday afternoon.
Bailey said Wagner is sending letters to parents outlining the
district's path in "following the guidance of health officials" to
limit the spread of swine flu in schools. He asked parents to keep
their contact information with the district up to date — 2,000 e-mails
to parents during a communication last week were returned as
undeliverable because of incorrect addresses.