Health officials confirm Rifle student had H1N1, not clear if the illness caused death |

Health officials confirm Rifle student had H1N1, not clear if the illness caused death

Area and state health officials have confirmed that a young Rifle student who died in Denver recently had contracted 2009 Novel H1N1 influenza.

But officials said that “no information is currently available detailing whether the child, (who died at Children’s Hospital on Sept. 22) died as a direct result of the illness or if there were any underlying health conditions” that may have caused the death.

“The loss of any student is tragic, especially someone so young,” said Mary Meisner, director of Garfield County Public Health. “Our thoughts and our prayers are with the family and friends of this child, along with the staff and administration of the school district.”

No information about the student’s identity was released by officials.

Health officials noted that the student was not in school on Sept. 18 and that she spent the following weekend in the Denver area, which indicates limited potential for exposure to fellow students and school staff in the Garfield Re-2 district.

School officials also said that there have been no signs of a spike in flu symptoms at schools in the district since the student was last in school.

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