A victim of swine flu died yesterday in Scotland, the first confirmed death from the virus outside the Americas, according to the World Health Organization.
The WHO last week declared the first influenza pandemic since 1968, indicating that the H1N1 virus is spreading in communities outside the Americas. A total of 145 people in the Americas have died from the disease, including 108 in Mexico, the organization said in a statement on its Web site June 12.
“One of the effects of this tragic death should be to concentrate minds,” Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said in an interview today. “There has almost been an assumption that this virus will be mild for everyone.”
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The person who died in Scotland was among 10 people hospitalized with the virus, the Scottish Government said in an e-mailed statement from Edinburgh. The victim had “underlying health conditions,” it said.
In a statement today, Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish health secretary, said the government was unable to provide details about the patient “on the express wishes of the family.” The British Broadcasting Corp. reported the victim was a 38-year-old woman who had recently given birth to a premature baby.