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LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV)- The Chief Medical Officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has schedule a press conference to provide more details about the first death of a Nebraska resident due to the H1N1 virus.
Check back to www.ktiv.com or watch KTIV NewsChannel Four for more after the press conference, which is scheduled for 10:30.
Swine flu attacking mothers, newborns
UP TO six new mothers infected with swine flu are on life support after giving birth prematurely because the virus was threatening the lives of their babies.
The women, all from the western suburbs of Sydney, are fighting for their lives in four hospitals, and at least two of the babies are also in intensive care because they were born with respiratory problems.
"This situation has become very, very grave," a midwife said.
Another two pregnant women were in intensive care at Westmead Hospital but were yet to give birth. Staff were trying to manage their conditions without inducing labour, said Brian Trudinger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Westmead Hospital.
"Usually we don't have any pregnant women in ICU with influenza so this is worrying," he said.
Swine flu can pass to a fetus through infected membranes in the placenta or can cause a baby to overheat if the mother is febrile. Pregnancy reduces a woman's immunity, and her capacity to breathe properly due to compression on her lungs from the fetus.
Main arteries are also compressed by the baby when a pregnant woman is lying on her back, making it difficult to intubate and ventilate, the president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ted Weaver, said yesterday.
More than 420 people have been admitted to hospital with swine flu in the past six weeks. Thirty two are in intensive care and seven are being treated using cardiac bypass machines.
One fit, healthy man in his 30s, from the south-west, awoke yesterday from a 10-day coma after doctors initially sent him home with instructions to take paracetamol. His family does not want him identified but told the Herald his mother "could not stop crying" and was demanding that swine flu not be dismissed as normal by authorities.
The man was now conscious but felt suicidal, the friend said. He was in a lot of pain and felt like he had already died, she said. "This is absolutely no longer a mild flu. It is eating healthy young people's lives."
A surge in the number of people presenting at hospitals with swine flu had also forced some elderly patients to wait more than 24 hours on ambulance stretchers.
Up to 10 patients were waiting for hours on stretchers at Blacktown, Nepean and Westmead hospitals, taking paramedics off the road because they have to stay with the patient until a bed is available.
The worst day was June 28, when 30 per cent more patients than a typical winter Sunday turned up at Blacktown's emergency department, including a patient who remained on a stretcher for more than 24 hours.
The acting chief executive of Sydney West Area Health Service, Bernard Deady, said 20,500 patients were treated last month, up 9 per cent on June last year.
The Opposition's health spokeswoman, Jillian Skinner, said the Government should not blame swine flu. "Responsibility for the access block crisis currently plaguing our hospital system falls squarely on the State Labor Government because it's closed hospital beds - it's as simple as that," she said.
Most of those becoming infected are young and healthy, prompting doctors to blame a condition called cytokine storm, where a vigorous immune system can overreact to certain pathogens, racing so many antibodies to the infection site that they collect together damaging healthy tissue.
When that storm occurs in the lungs, it can block airways and prevent oxygen getting into the blood supply.
John Graham, the chairman of the department of medicine at the Sydney Hospital, attended autopsies of people who died from the Hong Kong flu in 1970 and found their lungs had become "solid with blood-tinged watery immune secretions that filled every alveolus and every air pipe within the lungs".
"There was no evidence of any superimposed infection with a bacteria. It certainly did appear that they were drowning in their own overproduction of immune juices," he said.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made sure that the country is second in the numbers of deaths for swine flu, because “we count the real number of infected and dead” for H1N1 virus.
“We have these numbers because we do give the information. Argentina is the country that really releases all the numbers”, said the president on having been consulted by the press on the statistics.
She added that earlier 4,000 people were dying per year for seasonal influenza.
“I do not like the rankings of this type. We are working very well. The minister of Health (Juan Manzur) has surrounded himself with the main specialists of the country”,Cristina added.
Finally, she made sure that she always washes her hands “with water and soap” and keeps on greeting people “with a kiss"
NASHVILLE - Tennessee has its first reported death from the H1N1 virus, initially called swine flu, the state Department of Health reports.
The department spokeswoman didn't immediately have information on where the fatality was located.
Tennessee currently has 246 confirmed cases of the strain.
"I was in isolation at home, I had pain in neck, head and back, fever," said Noelia, who must appear in the statistics reveal that 100,000 infected the Government, while the counts in 137 deaths since the epidemic began in the fall austral.
But 170 other deaths are under investigation on suspicion of laboratory treated virus A (H1N1), so statistics may suffer permanent breaks throughout the austral winter, after placing the country with more deaths behind United States (211) and ahead of Mexico (124).
SYRACUSE -- A third person in Onondaga County has died from the H1N1 flu.
The Onondaga County Health Department confirmed the third death Wednesday, but no information about the person is available.
The total number of confirmed cases in the county is now up to 93. There are also 52 unconfirmed 'probable' cases.