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Swine flu victim dies in Texas hospital

HEALTH officials in the US state of Texas on Tuesday announced the first death of a US resident who had been suffering from swine flu.

She was a 33-year-old schoolteacher who had recently given birth to a healthy baby.

The woman had been hospitalized since April 19, said Leonel Lopez, Cameron County epidemiologist.

Health officials stopped short of saying that swine flu caused the woman's death. State health department spokeswoman Carrie Williams said the woman had "chronic underlying health conditions" but wouldn't give any more details.

Lopez said the flu worsened the woman's condition.

"The swine flu is very benign by itself," Lopez said. But "by the time she came to see us it was already too late."

The only other swine flu death in the US was of a Mexico City boy who also had underlying health problems and had been visiting relatives in Brownsville, near Harlingen.

He died last week at a Houston children's hospital.

The teacher was from Harlingen, a city of about 63,000 near the US-Mexico border. The school district where she worked announced it would close its schools for the rest of the week, though officials said anyone who might have contracted the disease from her would have shown symptoms by now.

The teacher was first seen by a physician on April 14 and was hospitalized on the 19th. The woman delivered a healthy baby while hospitalized and stayed in the hospital until her death, said Lopez, who declined to give further details about the baby.


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