St. Louis County man is Missouri's first swine flu fatality

A 44-year-old St. Louis County man is the first person in Missouri to die after becoming ill with swine flu.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the man traveled last month to Mexico where the 2009 H1N1 flu virus first emerged. He returned on April 27 and became ill a week later.

The man went to an urgent care center on May 9 and was admitted to a hospital the same day. He died from medical complications related to the flu.

He was the eighth person in the United States to die with swine flu. Most of the more than 5,000 cases nationwide have been relatively mild, health officials have said.

The man’s family and medical personnel who treated him have received anti-viral medications.

An autopsy will be done on the man. State and county health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the case.

“Our deepest condolences go out to this man’s family and his friends,” said Margaret Donnelly, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “We are working hard to determine why this case of flu became so much more severe than other cases in Missouri.”