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Wisconsin endures first swine flu death

June 5, 2009 at 3:18 PM

MILWAUKEE, June 5 (UPI) -- State and local health officials in Wisconsin say the state has confirmed its first death as a result of swine flu.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Friday that while specific details regarding the H1N1 influenza fatality were not released, officials confirmed the victim was a Milwaukee resident who also had a medical condition that intensified their illness.

"We express our condolences for the affected family here," Wisconsin health officer Seth Foldy said of the recent fatality.

"What is unusual today is not that there has been a death from influenza. Over 37,000 people die in the United States each year of seasonal influenza, and the rates of death and illness from this novel H1N1 strain does not appear to be radically different," said Foldy. "What is unusual this year is that influenza continues to be widely circulating in Wisconsin and many, many other states this late in the year."

Wisconsin currently tops all U.S. states with 2,071 confirmed cases of swine flu. The state also has three probable cases, the Journal Sentinel said.

The newspaper said the U.S. total for confirmed swine flu cases sat at 11,054 as of Wednesday.

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