Girl, 11, Dies After Contracting Swine Flu

By Stacy Morrow and Omar Villafranca
|  Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009  |  Updated 6:26 PM CDT
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11-Year-Old Garland Girl With Swine Flu Dies

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A Mesquite student diesfrom the H1N1 virus, health officials said.

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Family Devastated By Swine Flu Victim's Death

The family of a girl who died of complications of swine flu say they are devastated.

11-Year-Old Garland Girl With Swine Flu Dies

An 11-year-old Garland girl died after becoming ill with the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, Dallas County Health officials say.
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An 11-year-old Garland girl died after becoming ill with the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, Dallas County Health officials confirmed Monday.

Cynthia Garcia, sixth-grader at Vernon Price Elementary in Mesquite who lived in south Garland, died at a hospital Sunday.

Maria Badillo Garcia, the girl's mother, said it all happened so fast.

She took her daughter to the doctor after she went home from school sick Thursday. Cynthia was diagnosed with a bacterial infection, pneumonia and the swine flu.

Maria Garcia said her daughter was taking fever-reducing medicine, but her condition kept getting worse. By Saturday, she was losing her voice and complained of weakness. Her family called an ambulance Saturday.

Cynthia did not have any underlying medical conditions, health officials said.

"We are following the guidelines of the health department and the CDC," Ian Halperin, a MISD spokesman told StarLocalNews.com. "We had a crew at the school last night cleaning and sanitizing by hand the entire facility."

Vernon Price Elementary has had some cases of flu-like illness among students this school year, but it doesn't have an unusually high number of cases when compared with other district campuses, MISD officials said.

The school district said counselors were being made available for students, faculty and staff.

Maria Garcia said the family is devastated by Cynthia's death. Speaking in Spanish, she said she is still in shock.

"Now I have to stay healthy and strong for my other kids," she said in Spanish.

Cynthia Garcia's death marks Dallas County’s third H1N1-related fatality, health officials said. The first two deaths involved adults who had underlying medical conditions. One was a 52-year-old woman who died on Aug. 27, and the other was a 37-year-old man who died on Sept. 4.

Texas has had four confirmed swine flu deaths of people younger than age 18, Dallas County Health officials said.

During the last flu season, there were 11 pediatric flu deaths in Texas.  Out of those deaths, two occurred in Dallas County.

Our headline initially said Cynthia Garcia, 11, died of swine flu. Cynthia actually died of a combination of ailments.  We regret the error.

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