Le Bonheur says H1N1 threat not over

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center has new concerns about the H1N1 virus after an upswing in the number of patients in recent weeks.

In a news conference Tuesday, Dr. Keith English, one of Le Bonheur's leading pediatricians, said there is no reason to be alarmed, but does not want people to think the H1N1 threat is over.

Le Bonheur confirmed the death of a 14 year-old patient from the virus Monday.  This was the fourth suspected death due to H1N1 since last fall.

English said the number of new cases has spiked in recent weeks, but is still well below the peak Le Bonheur saw in September and October of last year.

"We're very concerned about this," English said.  "The thing we'd like to stress is that people shouldn't be complacent because there's less flu activity now than in September.  It's still very important to immunize your children."

Dr. English estimates that only 25 percent of those eligible for an H1N1 vaccination have actually gotten one.

He urged parents to monitor their children for flu-like symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.