H1N1 investigated in first grader's death


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The Solano County coroner announced a preliminary finding that the little girl did in fact have type A influenza, which could include the /*H1N1*/ virus, but further tests will be needed to confirm that H1N1 in fact played a role in this girl's death.

The memorial of flowers and balloons in front of Brown Valley Elementary School continues to grow as families mourn the loss of a popular first grader named Alexis.

"She was a beautiful, great child. I mean just fun to have around. She learned extremely fast. She grasped onto things really fast. You didn't have to tell her things twice," says Paul Dubrovich, the girl's soccer coach.

Alexis died Sunday night, within an hour of being admitted to VacaValley Hospital with flu-like symptoms. The girl started feeling ill last Thursday.

"She was feeling better, then got worse again and went to the hospital on Sunday and then passed quickly," says Janine Browne, a soccer coach.

According to the Solano County coroner, Alexis died from a bacterial viral infection. Durbrovich say the family told him it was the flu.

"It was influenza. It's not confirmed H1N1," says Dubrovich.

Vacaville school officials held a meeting with parents at Brown Valley Wednesday morning. The girl's classroom has been sanitized, but no other measures are being taken.

The school was asked if the results are found to be H1N1, would they take more action at the school, superintendent John Aycock replied, "Our absentee rate hasn't risen to the level that public health services recommending that we do anything different from what we've been doing."

Sherry Hulburt's granddaughter attends Brown Valley.

"My thoughts are they should close the school down and at least sanitize the whole entire thing. It's extremely scary," says Hulburt.

The number of serious H1N1 cases in California is growing quickly now. The latest figures from the state health department show a total of 3,051 people hospitalized with swine flu since April -- 219 of them died.

Here in the Bay Area, 681 people have been hospitalized with H1N1, and 57 have died, as of September 26. Both numbers could jump considerably when new regional stats are released in a few days.

Production of the swine flu vaccine is running several weeks behind schedule. The federal government promised 120 million doses of the vaccine by now, but only 13 million have come through.

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