CDC reports season’s first death from Type A flu


TAIPEI — A 92-year-old man died this week of complications from Type A influenza, becoming the first person to have died from the flu since Taiwan entered the flu season on July 1, an official at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday.

CDC Deputy Director-General Shih Wen-yi said that the patient living in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, developed flu symptoms on Oct. 4, and was taken to a hospital on Oct. 7 because of constant coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. He was delivered immediately to an intensive care ward.

Medical treatment failed, however, and the patient, who had suffered from diabetes and heart disease, died of heart and respiratory failure. After his death, the hospital confirmed the man had contracted the influenza A(H3N2) virus, Shih said.

The man took a shot of flu vaccination two days before developing flu symptoms. But it was too late for the vaccine to start working, the official said, explaining that normally, it takes three weeks to one month for the vaccine to produce enough antibodies against a flu virus.