Randall Co. resident tests positive for H1N1

Dr. Todd Bell, Amarillo Public Health Authority
Dr. Todd Bell, Amarillo Public Health Authority

By Sarah Seeley
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - The H1N1 flu has recently been discovered in the Amarillo area.

Lab tests confirm a Randall County resident was sick two weeks ago from H1N1, but is doing fine Wednesday.

NewsChannel 10 spoke with several Amarillo residents today who say this new case doesn't concern them all that much.

"When it first came out I was really worried and all I could think was Bird flu and how many people died from that," said Lynsie Moore. "But now I'm not as worried about it."

Even a confirmed case close to home doesn't have Amarillo residents concerned about an H1N1 outbreak in our area.

"The flu has been around for many years, you just learn to protect yourself as much as you can," said Nicholas Nevarez Jr.

Officials say the mass hysteria earlier this year is not necessary with a patient in our area, but residents need to be aware the future of the virus is still relatively unknown.

"Our concern, and the reason we still have concern about this particular virus is there is always the risk, albeit relatively small, is the risk that this could because a more virulent disease process than what it currently is," said Dr. Todd Bell, Amarillo Public Health Authority.

Dr. Bell says all residents should be prepared to receive a two-part H1N1 vaccine later this fall, along with the regular seasonal flu vaccine.

Friday NewsChannel 10 conducted an online poll asking what viewers thought of the latest case.

  • 39.4% say they are not concerned at all
  • 28.3% say they are somewhat concerned
  • 21.2% say they are concerned less than they were in the Spring
  • 11.1% say they are very concerned about H1N1

Amarillo Public Health Department officials the latest case shouldn't cause elevated concern with the general public, but pregnant women should remain aware.

That's because a new study just out today says pregnant women infected by the H1N1 flu virus are four times more likely to be hospitalized as others.

Dr. Bell says pregnant women are more at-risk to many airborne viruses.

"It has to do with the changes that a woman's body undergoes during pregnancy," said Dr. Bell.  "There's changes in the cardiovascular system [and] there's often times [they experience] decreased lung capacity."

Bell says expecting mothers should be first in line to receive the two-part H1N1 vaccine.

"As far as we know there is no danger to the baby from getting a flu shot," said Dr. Bell.  "A flu shot is a standard part of a pregnant women's care during the influenza season."