MIAMI -- A 9-year-old-boy from Miami has become the first person in the state to die from the H1N1 swine flu, state and local health officials said today.
The boy, who was not identified, died June 9 within 24 hours of being rushed to Baptist Hospital in the Kendall area, Miami-Dade County Health Department officials said.
"It's very unfortunate we had this death here in Miami," said Dr. Fermin Leguen, the department's medical executive director and chief of epidemiology.
The boy had a history of asthma and developed acute respiratory illness from the virus, Leguen said. Nationwide, children and adults with asthma and other lung ailments have been particularly susceptible to the new H1N1 flu virus.
After showing flu symptoms, the boy got worse quickly, and was in such distress that his parents called 911 and an ambulance rushed him to Baptist in critical condition. He arrived having a heart attack, the hospital said.
Lab results confirming that the boy had H1N1 swine flu came back over the weekend.
Leguen would not confirm whether the boy lived near Baptist, where he went to school or any personal details, citing the family's privacy. The hospital declined to comment other than a brief statement.
Leguen held a news conference at a Little Haiti clinic, but said that was only because that's where he works on Tuesdays.
No other flu infections have been linked to the boy, and the family has no history of travel, Leguen said.
The boy was in school about four days before he developed symptoms, but Leguen said there was no danger to the public.
The boy is among 417 cases of the virus that have been confirmed in the state at last count on Friday, the large majority of which have been mild and have not required the patients be hospitalized, Florida Department of Health officials said.
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