Two additional deaths associated with the H1N1 novel influenza virus have been reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
That brings to three the total number of deaths in the state linked to the ongoing H1N1 outbreak.
The two latest deaths were reported in an elderly individual and a child, both from the Twin Cities area. The elderly patient had underlying medical problems and had been hospitalized. The child had an extensive bacterial infection, in addition to being infected with the H1N1 virus.
An earlier death, in a Twin Cities area child who also had underlying medical problems, was reported on June 15.
MDH officials emphasized that the two additional deaths do not signal any change in the severity of the illness caused by the H1N1 virus. However, Minnesotans should assume that the virus is still circulating in the state, and they should be diligent about taking simple precautions to avoid getting or spreading the illness.
Standard prevention recommendations can be found on the MDH Web site at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/h1n1/basics/prevent.html.