A 43-year-old Cobb County woman has become the first Georgian to die from the new strain of swine flu, health officials said Friday.
The woman, who suffered from other health problems, died Thursday morning at Emory University Hospital after being hospitalized for two weeks, said Dr. Rhonda Medows, commissioner of the state Department of Community Health. Authorities did not disclose the victims identity or the way in which she contracted the swine flu.
Meanwhile, federal health officials on Friday announced the availability of $10.7 million in grants to help Georgia prepare for the new H1N1 flu virus and the fall flu season.
The grants could help Georgia organize potential vaccination campaigns, help hospitals deal with a surge of patients and improve influenza surveillance and investigations
Medical officials have said the symptoms of the swine flu are generally mild. Still, it has killed 211 people in the U.S. since it appeared a few months ago, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Georgia has 143 confirmed cases, but officials believe the figure to be in the thousands.
Even the conventional seasonal flu can be lethal, killing some 37,000 Americans each year, officials said. To date, H1N1 has been seen most commonly in children and young adults. Health officials urge Georgians to protect themselves through hand-washing.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.