(UPDATE 2) RP confirms first A (H1N1) death

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2009 02:49 PM | Updated as of Jun 23 2009 06:43 PM

MANILA - A 49-year old woman from Metro Manila with Influenza A (H1N1) has died of congestive heart failure, the Department of Health said Monday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the woman, who has a history of chronic heart disease, exhibited symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1) infection namely dry cough, fever and chills and difficulty of breathing  on June 17. She died two days later.

Post-autopsy findings disclosed that the death was caused by congestive heart failure secondary to acute myocardial infarction aggravated by severe pneumonia either bacterial, viral or both. Duque said a throat-swab revealed that she was positive for A (H1N1).

The health chief said the woman's husband and 21-year-old son were quarantined after exhibiting symptoms of A (H1N1) infection. He said the woman's family has yet to determine where she got the infection.

"She has no history of travel. Cause of death is congestive heart failure secondary to arterosclerotic heart disease. This means that the blood passageway to her heart was blocked. We're currently doing contact tracing of the family," Duque told radio dzMM.

He said the woman is scheduled to be buried Tuesday.

The health secretary said the number of Influenza A (H1N1) cases in the Philippines has risen to 445, after 17 new swine flu cases were confirmed Monday. The 17 new cases include eight males and nine females ages 11 to 58. All but two of the new cases are Filipinos. Three of the new cases recently traveled to countries with confirmed cases of A (H1N1), he said.

He said 84 percent or 374 of the 445 cases of A (H1N1) cases in the Philippines since May 21 have fully recovered.

The health secretary said the DOH will be more aggressive in targeting segments of patients with a high vulnerability to fatal flu complications. These include patients with uncontrolled diabetes, frank cardiovascular disease, COPD, organ transplant recipients, those who are immunocompromised, those with chronic liver and kidney disease, people suffering from other infections like HIV/AIDs and TB, pregnant women and the very young and the elderly.

“We want to make it clear that high-risk groups, once they have the flu symptoms, should immediately go to their doctor.   They should not wait for their symptoms to worsen because they are prone to many infections other than the novel virus such as our seasonal flu strains," he said in a statement.