9 Jul 2010

Flu jabs urged as first swine flu death recorded

7:44 pm on 9 July 2010

Health authorities are urging people to get vaccinated against swine flu without delay, following the first death from the disease this winter.

The victim is believed to be a 48-year-old Tauranga woman.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board says she spent several weeks in Tauranga Hospital before dying from complications stemming from the H1N1 strain of influenza.

The Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Jacobs, says most influenza cases detected this year have been swine flu, which killed about 50 New Zealanders last year.

He says it's not too late to get vaccinated and would advise people to do so this week, rather than delaying any longer.

Dr Jacobs says the elderly have some immunity to swine flu due to previous exposure to a similar virus; younger people are more at risk.