Thursday, July 30, 2009

First health care worker fatality in New Zealand

Deaths of health care workers is something we watch closely as they are usually a healthly group that has high exposure to illnesses like pandemic influenza. Seeing an increase in death or hospitalization in health care workers might be a trigger indicator that we're seeing more severe outbreaks, changes in the virus, etc.

So, even though we have not seen any clusters of deaths in health care workers, it is important to take note of stories such as this one of the first health care worker death in New Zealand.

"The 39-year-old woman who died of swine flu in Wellington Hospital this week was a front-line health worker at Hutt Hospital, officials have confirmed.

The woman understood to have been a nurse in the children's ward is believed to be the first health worker to die from the virus in New Zealand.

Her death from a rare complication on Monday, after 11 days in intensive care, is the 13th to be officially recorded.

The woman had suffered a miscarriage within the previous two months. Pregnancy is a known risk factor for viral complications. However, it is not known whether she had the virus at the time she miscarried."

For the full story, go here:

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