Arkansas Department of Health Reports State’s First Death From Novel H1N1 Influenza A (Swine Flu)

(LITTLE ROCK) — State Epidemiologist James Phillips, M.D., today reported the first death in Arkansas from complications related to novel H1N1 influenza A (Swine Flu).  Dr. Phillips said, “We have H1N1 influenza A all over our state.  We knew that we might possibly see deaths from this disease.  We lose Arkansans each year to the seasonal flu.  It is so unfortunate that this has come to pass.  Our sympathies are with the family and friends.”
The Health Department will not be releasing any further details about this case, including the county of residence, for medical confidentiality reasons.
A death from complications of influenza does not change the precautionary measures that all Arkansans should take to prevent getting the disease.
Take the following actions to stay healthy:· Get a seasonal flu shot each year and when the H1N1 influenza A vaccine is available in Arkansas, get a shot.

· Stay home if you are sick.  You should stay home until you are feeling better and after fever is gone for 24 hours without taking fever reducers. While you are sick, limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
· Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or otherwise appear ill.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Wash hands frequently with warm, soapy water to lessen the spread of illness.
· When hand washing is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing and sneezing, then wash your hands.

Remember the three C’s:
Clean – properly wash your hands frequently
Cover – cover your cough and sneeze
Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick
Symptoms of seasonal and H1N1 flu are the same and can lead to complications, including pneumonia or other life-threatening complications.  The symptoms include: fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, chills, headache and body aches, fatigue, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.  Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their physician or other health care provider for advice.
H1N1 flu is highly contagious and is easily spread from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching the nose or mouth.

For more information about H1N1 influenza A or seasonal flu, click on