Officials at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department have confirmed two more deaths from the H1N1 strain of the flu virus bringing the total number of flu deaths in Lucas County to four.
And in Monroe, it has been confirmed that a fifth person - the youngest so far - has died from the flu.
Family members described Chris Wright, a 41-year-old father of five, as very healthy. He died Sunday at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center in Trenton but had also been treated at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe.
“He always said I never get sick. I'm healthy as a horse,” said his wife Susan Wright. That is why he didn't think it was necessary to get a flu shot, she said.
The official cause of death for Mr. Wright was Influenza A but “we expect that it was probably H1N1,” said Monroe County Health Director Kim Comerzan.
Dr. David Grossman, health commissioner, said a 61-year old Toledo woman died on New Year's Eve and a 70-year-old person from Lucas County died near the end of last week from flu-related symptoms. He does not know the gender of the 70-year-old.
Dr. Grossman said both people were treated by the same physician at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center and the physician confirmed today that the deaths were from influenza.
Friday health department officials had previously announced the deaths of two people from the H1N1 strain of the virus in Lucas County: Toledo resident Connie Bucklew, 62, who died Jan. 7 and 50-year-old James A. Crosby, of Temperance, who died Dec. 28 from complications brought on by H1N1. Both were in Toledo Hospital.
The four Lucas County deaths are the first deaths in the area from flu-related illness in at least two years, said Dr. Grossman.
The flu is an illness that comes on abruptly with fever and chills, muscle aches, and a severe cough and shortness of breath, but there are simple things that people can do, such as washing hands and covering the mouth when coughing that will probably reduce the spread of the disease, said Dr. Grossman.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, 635 N. Erie St., will hold two walk-in flu clinics this week: Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. The cost of the adult flu vaccine is $30.
Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6091.