Ottawa

Eastern Ont. child dies after H1N1 diagnosis

Posted: October 26, 2009
Last Updated: October 26, 2009

A previously healthy pre-teen girl from eastern Ontario has died at an Ottawa hospital after being diagnosed with H1N1 influenza.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, said the girl had no pre-existing medical conditions when she was admitted to hospital, where she died over the weekend.

"My concern is that it underscores the importance that we put onto the potential complications of any flu, especially a novel flu like H1N1," Roumeliotis told CBC News.

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"It is extremely sad to see the virus claim the life of a child," he added in a statement.

Officials are not saying exactly where the girl lived or how old she was, at the request of her family.

It is the second death — and the first death of a child — linked to H1N1, also known as swine flu, in the area served by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, which includes the counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell and the city of Cornwall. A 52-year-old eastern Ontario woman died in June after testing positive for H1N1.

The Eastern Ontario Board of Health said it is putting school-age children on its priority list for the H1N1 vaccine. As of Friday, children living in eastern Ontario will be able to get the vaccine. Dr. Roumeliotis said this expansion of the priority list was motivated by the girl’s death and the high rate of absenteeism in schools.