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Philippines reports 1st swine flu-related death

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[June 22, 2009]  MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippines confirmed Monday its first swine flu-related death -- a 49-year-old woman who died from congestive heart failure but who also tested positive for the H1N1 virus.

RestaurantThe fatality is the second in the Asia-Pacific region related to swine flu, following the death of a man in Australia on Friday.

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the woman's chronic heart disease was aggravated by severe pneumonia. She started to have flu-like symptoms such as dry cough, fever, chills and difficulty breathing two days before her death on June 19.

A throat swab revealed she was also infected with the swine flu virus.

Duque said post-autopsy findings disclose that the death was caused by heart failure "aggravated by severe pneumonia either bacterial, viral or both."

Given the available information, health authorities cannot conclude that the death is due to H1N1. In other countries that have reported swine flu deaths, the majority have had pre-existing conditions, he added.

Duque said the Philippines has 17 more confirmed swine flu cases, bringing the total to 445 -- though 84 percent of the total cases have already recovered.

Australian authorities on Sunday listed a 26-year-old Aboriginal man who died in the southern city of Adelaide on Friday as a "suspected" swine flu death. Although the man had tested positive for the virus, authorities doubt it killed him because he also had pre-existing chronic diseases.

[Associated Press; By TERESA CEROJANO]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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