First H1N1 death reported in Robertson
Clinic planned for Dec. 3
By Wendy Mitchell, Staff Writer
Saturday, November 21, 2009 12:00 AM EST
MOUNT OLIVET -- News from Kentucky health officials of a confirmed H1N1 death in Robertson County had local officials wondering who it may have been and what else can be done to prevent more deaths from the virus.
Local residents are eager to get information from any source possible.
"When the information was released, my phone started ringing with people asking if I knew who it could have been," said Robertson County Sheriff Randy Insko. "I don't know who it was, either; people are scared."
Because of the sometimes two to three week lapse of time between a death and an H1N1 confirmation, people who may have been exposed to a victim have had time to develop the disease and pass it even further, officials said.
According to officials, the victim was a woman from Robertson County in her 70s with underlying medical conditions which made her more vulnerable to the virus.
On Friday, family members confirmed the victim was Margaret Sizemore, 72, who died Oct. 23 at University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center in Lexington.
Actual instances of H1N1 may be grossly undercounted nationwide because officials are not conducting what they have called "expensive" H1N1 testing unless a death or hospitalization occurs, official said.
"It is frustrating. All anyone can do is follow the preventative measures and maintain social distances as we wait for a consistent supply of the vaccine to arrive for distribution," said Buffalo Trace District Health Department Director Allison Adams. "Those with underlying health problems are always at risk, but you could follow all the precautions at home and work, and pick it up from someone at a store or on the street. You just don't know."
In addition to hand washing and covering coughs, a 10 feet social distance is suggested as a precaution in open areas, officials said.
"The other thing people can do is, if they suspect they have the flu themselves, is to take extra precautions to stay away from others and not expose others to the virus," Adams said.
According to www.healthalerts.ky.gov
, Robertson County has had three confirmed H1N1 cases with one death. Across Kentucky there have been more than 1,560 confirmed cased of H1N1, four cases of the seasonal flu and 29 deaths from H1N1.
In addition, in the report, which is updated weekly since the reports began in August, there have been two cases in Mason County, one case in Lewis County, five cases in Fleming County and one in Bracken County.
In Ohio, since the outbreak began, there have been more than 2,500 hospitalizations and 30 deaths related to H1N1 officials said.
As with Kentucky, due to lack of testing, the actual of number of Ohio H1N1 cases does not include those who were strickened but recovered without hospitalization.
Buffalo Trace District Health Department officials are planning an H1N1 vaccination clinic for high risk groups, Dec. 3; details will be available on Monday, Adams said.
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