Swine flu claims 15 in Ala.

Published 12:23 am Sunday, October 4, 2009

MONTGOMERY — State health officials have announced four new swine flu deaths in Alabama.

None of the deaths have been reported from Dallas County, so far, although physicians have said they have seen many cases of the illness, especially in children.

The deaths announced Friday bring the state’s total number of fatalities from the virus to 15.

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Officials say the new deaths are of a woman in her 30s and a man in his 60s from Montgomery County, a man in his 40s from Calhoun County, and a man in his 30s from Mobile County.

Previous deaths of persons positive for swine flu have occurred this year in Bullock, Dale, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Macon, Madison, Montgomery, Russell and Talladega counties.

Health officials say the rising number of deaths is a reminder of the need for everyone to take steps to prevent transmission of disease and to be immunized for both seasonal and swine influenza.

Initial doses of the vaccine for swine flu are expected to get to physicians across the country next week.

Bloomberg.com reports about 600,000 tubes of AstrZeneca Pic’s nasal spray vaccine will arrive next week with shots coming later.

About 50 to 60 million vaccines will be shipped the following week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Dontrol says the flu season officially starts today.