S. Korean infant dies after Influenza A infection

October 11, 2009 9:49 pm 

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) — A two-month-old South Korean baby infected with Influenza A (H1N1) died, health officials said on Sunday, in what could be the first case here of the contagious disease claiming the life of someone under 30.

The female infant, a resident of the Seoul metropolitan area, died of acute heart failure at a hospital on Oct. 6 while visiting relatives in the country's southeast with her parents, officials said.

In a posthumous medical test, the infant was confirmed the following day to have been infected with Influenza A virus. Additional tests were still being conducted to confirm whether her death was directly related to the flu, according to the officials.

"The infant began to have a cough on Sept. 25 and was rushed to a hospital emergency room on Oct. 5. Because she was tested for the new flu belatedly, she was not given Tamiflu," said a government official.

Also Sunday, officials said a 64-year-old lung cancer patient died on Saturday after being diagnosed with Influenza A the previous day. The patient, a man living in the Seoul area, had shown flu-like symptoms before testing positive for the new flu virus, they said.

If the two latest deaths are confirmed as being related to Influenza A virus, the nation's death toll from the contagious disease will rise to 14.

South Korea reported its first new flu outbreak in early May, with the number of infections reaching more than 15,000. Most have fully recovered, but health experts say the disease could spread at a more rapid pace this fall and winter.

On Aug. 15, South Korea reported its first H1N1 virus-related death — a man in his 50s who had returned from a trip to Thailand. (PNA/Yonhap)

FFC/ebp

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