A 16-year-old Berkner High School Student has died while carrying the swine flu, the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.
Lana Trinh had multiple underlying health conditions and was a special education student.
"I don't think she had asthma at this point, but she did have impaired breathing and respiratory complication problems," said Dr. John Carlo, of the DCDH.
Research shows 75 percent of swine flu deaths involve people who have underlying medical conditions. More than 99 percent of healthy people who catch the virus recover.
The health department would not provide additional information on the student for privacy reasons. Health officials said the girl's parents asked the department to limit public information about her case.
School officials said the girl attended special education classes and had little contact with most of the student body at Berkner High.
"She is in a relatively small class there with a different academic plan than most of the rest of the student population, so contact with the rest of the student population is pretty limited," said Tim Clark, a Richardson Independent School District spokesman.
Her fellow special education students are not showing flu-like symptoms, the district said. The girl's last day on campus was Sept. 18.
A spokesperson for the Richardson ISD said eight students out of the 2,700 enrolled were out on Monday with flu-like symptoms.
The district said they have been very aggressive with cleaning the schools and sharing information about the flu with parents. In the case of this student, the district is calling parents with an automated message alerting them to the student's death and to alert them to the availability of grief counselors.
The student is the fifth person in Dallas County to have died with swine flu.
HEADING INTO FLU SEASON
Cases of influenza are on the rise and expected to increase as we move through the flu season.
Since flu can spread easily from person to person, DCHHS advises the public to help prevent cases of flu by taking the following precautions:
- Monitor the health of your child and all other household members closely by checking for fever and other flu symptoms every morning. Symptoms of flu usually include fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Parents and children with symptoms of the flu should stay at home. Sick children should be cared for by a single designated caregiver, kept in a separate room in the house and have limited contact with other household members who are not sick. Children with symptoms of flu should not return to school until they no longer have fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Contact a healthcare provider and seek medical care immediately if your child is having difficulty breathing or chest pain, has altered mental status or confusion, is vomiting and unable to keep liquids down, or is getting worse.
- Recognize whether your child or any household member is at high risk for severe illness from flu. People at higher risk for flu complications include children under the age of 5 years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, cancer or heart disease), and people age 65 years and older. If any high risk person or their household members become sick with flu-like symptoms, please contact your doctor as soon as possible to ask for advice about antiviral medications.
• Remind all household members to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer regularly. Continue to teach children to cover their cough with their elbow or sleeve, and to avoid touching their face.
• Have all eligible household members vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu as soon as possible.
• If someone is showing symptoms and you are wondering if they are the common cold or maybe the flu, consult this NBCUniversal document as a guide. This medical information is for reference only. It is not a substitute for medical care. Please see your healthcare provider for concerns or questions.
Over the weekend, a 14-year-old Fort Worth girl who was "perfectly healthy" her entire life died suddenly Sunday after getting the swine flu, her mother said.
Chloe Lindsey, who attended Leonard Middle School, died hours after she was rushed to Cook Children's Medical Center. Tests confirmed she had the H1N1, or swine, flu, the Tarrant County Health Department announced on Tuesday.
"She was perfectly healthy," said her mother, Tammy Osborne. "I think she had been sick twice since she was 2 years old."
In early September, Cynthia Garcia, 11, died with swine flu. She had no known underlying medical conditions.