Swine flu claims another victim


Wed, Sep 30, 2009 - Page 2

The nation’s death toll from swine flu rose to 18 on Monday after a 34-year-old man — the first person hospitalized in Taiwan for severe A(H1N1) symptoms — died, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.

“The patient began to suffer from severe symptoms in early July and died on Monday,” said Lin Kuo-ning (林國甯), head of the Taipei County Government’s Department of Health’s Disease Control Section.

Lin said that the man suffered from ankylosing spondylitis — a form of chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints that causes spinal pain and stiffness — and had been in intensive care at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in Banciao (板橋) since being hospitalized in the middle of July with severe flu-like symptoms.

The center said the man was intubated and had received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. He died late on Monday from septic shock.

Meanwhile, the center announced yesterday that no one has been hospitalized with A(H1N1) in the past 24 hours, leaving the total number of people hospitalized since the outbreak began at 298.

Only 25 are still being treated in hospitals.

A CECC official said on Sunday the swine flu outbreak was clearly abating because the rate of people being hospitalized with the virus has declined.