May 15, 2009 / 2:20 AM / 9 years ago

Arizona woman with lung disease dies from H1NI flu

PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona woman with underlying lung disease has died from H1N1 flu, health authorities said on Thursday.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health said a woman in her late 40s with underlying lung disease died last week from complications of H1N1 influenza.

The death is the first in Arizona associated with the new flu strain and the fourth in the United States, the department said in a news release.

“Unfortunately, we knew this was coming. Flu is serious, especially for those with underlying health conditions,” said Bob England, director of Maricopa Department of Public Health.

The H1N1 flu, known as swine flu, has killed 65 people — including 60 in Mexico — and infected nearly 6,500 people in 33 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Common seasonal flu kills up to 500,000 people a year worldwide.

Reporting by Tim Gaynor, editing by Todd Eastham

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