Maine CDC Press Release

August 11, 2009

Maine Records First Death of Resident Related to H1N1

AUGUSTA – A York County man in his 50s is the first death linked to H1N1 influenza in Maine, the Maine CDC in the Department of Health and Human Services learned today.

"It is with great sadness that we have learned today of a York County resident who died recently of underlying conditions complicated by H1N1 after a nearly three-week hospitalization," announced Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Director of the Maine CDC. "We extend our deepest sympathy to this man’s family and friends. While most people with H1N1 in Maine and the nation have had a relatively mild infection, this news demonstrates how serious influenza can be, especially in those with underlying medical conditions, pregnant women and very young children."

The man died last week. His name and the date of his death are not being released to protect the privacy of the family.

Since first being recognized in April 2009, novel influenza A (H1N1) has spread to 168 countries. In June, a pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization. As of Aug. 7, H1N1 infection has resulted in 6,506 hospitalizations and 436 deaths in the United States. Maine has identified 323 cases of H1N1, which include 19 individuals requiring hospitalization. Of Maine residents with H1N1, 60 percent have been under 25 years of age.

All Mainers are urged to take everyday actions to prevent H1N1 and to stay healthy, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick.
  • Stay informed.

Check Maine CDC’s H1N1 Web site at: www.mainepublichealth.gov. Governor Baldacci has convened an H1N1 Summit on Aug. 20 at the Augusta Civic Center for health care providers, emergency management agencies, school officials, public health agencies and community organizations to come together to learn and prepare for the fall, when H1N1 may escalate and when a vaccine is anticipated to be offered.

"We know that any type of influenza can cause serious illness, so it is important that we all redouble our prevention efforts to limit the spread of this illness and to prepare for this fall," said Dr. Mills.

For more information, Maine CDC H1N1 Web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/swine-flu-2009.shtml