Fla. Health Department reports 3rd flu death in Brevard County

63-year-old woman dies of complications of influenza, officials say

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor
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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A third person has died in Brevard County from complications of influenza, according to the health department.

The victim was a 63-year-old woman who died on Wednesday at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville after being on life support for at least a month.

Officials tell Florida Today a fourth person remains on life support at the hospital.

Health Director Dr. Heidar Heshmati is encouraging anyone who has not received the influenza vaccine to get their shot. Most of Brevard's reported influenzas are 2009 H1N1 influenza, which is covered in the vaccine.

Two other women died last month-- a woman in her mid-20s and a woman in her mid to late-30s. One of the women was pregnant when she started showing some flu-like symptoms and died after the baby was born, officials said.

Health officials said none of the patients had received a flu shot and all had underlying medical conditions, including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pregnancy.

The Department of Health in Brevard County recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination each year. 

Officials said it is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant. 

Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. Flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing.

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