Health officials are officially calling the rise of flu cases an “epidemic” as a strand of H1N1 — the same type of strain as the so-called “swine flu” that spread nationwide in 2009 — continues to affect two crucial groups: pregnant women and people under 40 years old.
One day after Brevard County health officials said a woman died from the flu virus just weeks after giving birth to a newborn baby, health centers around Central Florida are reporting more influenza cases, and the latest ones are more severe.
Alex Bryan was the second Brevard County woman to die from the flu in 2014. Doctors said she contracted H1N1 and did not get a flu shot.
Weeks earlier, a woman in her 30s also died from the flu in the same Melbourne hospital.
“Our primary concern is pregnant women, because it seems pregnant woman are seeing more complications, and have a higher risk of ending up in intensive care than non-pregnant women” said Dr. Tim Hendrix, with Florida Hospital Centra Care in Winter Park. [Read full story]