Chicago Has 12th US Swine Flu Death

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago resident has died of swine flu, the
first death in Illinois and the 12th nationally, from the illness,
health authorities said Monday.

Authorities in Mexico, where the swine flu outbreak was
identified in April, announced three more deaths, raising its total
to 83, and Canada reported its second death.

"With as many cases of H1N1 influenza that have been reported
in Illinois, we have been concerned that there would be
fatalities," said Dr. Damon Arnold, director of the Illinois
Department of Public Health. The state lists 896 confirmed cases of
the illness, known both as H1N1 and swine flu.

Before the latest reports, the World Health Organization tallied
at least 91 deaths around the globe from more than 12,500 swine flu
cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 10
deaths and 6,700 cases in the U.S., most of them mild. New York
health officials reported another death over the weekend.

At least 46 countries have confirmed cases, according to WHO.
Puerto Rico reported its first case Monday, making it the second
Caribbean island to confirm the illness. The man is recuperating at
home.

Arnold said in a statement that the victim in Chicago had other
medical conditions, but authorities released no other information
about the person. The health department said the victim died over
the weekend.

Arnold said that although public attention to the outbreak has
waned, people with high risk medical conditions such as asthma,
diabetes, lung disease and pregnancy should be particularly
cautious.

"We know the virus is still circulating in the state and I
would like to remind everyone, especially those with chronic
medical conditions, to continue taking steps to keep from getting
the flu," Arnold said.

When the flu first was reported last month, the reaction was
swift in Illinois and other places.

Students from colleges to kindergartens were told not to shake
hands to avoid contracting the disease, and many schools were
closed, sidelining hundreds of students.

But many of those precautions stopped after health officials
said the flu didn't appear to be as virulent as first feared.

In Canada, officials said Monday that a Toronto man who had
swine flu but also suffered a chronic medical condition died
Saturday. Dr. David Williams, Ontario's acting chief medical
officer of health, said in a statement the coroner was
investigating to determine what role swine flu played in the
fatality.

Mexico announced three more deaths tied to swine flu, and
officials there unveiled a $90 million campaign aimed at luring
back tourists. The government-funded push will feature ads with
opera singer Placido Domingo, champion golfer Lorena Ochoa and
other national heroes.

Tourism is Mexico's third-largest source of legal foreign
income, but worries over swine flu have stemmed the flow of
visitors and pushed hotel occupancy to a record low.
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On the Net:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int


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