The November 6 death of Conner Woodruff, a 12 year old student of Robert Gray Elementary School, has been linked to the H1N1 (swine) flu virus. County public health officials were notified of the positive test result Friday afternoon.
“This is a tragic death. Our thoughts are with Conner’s family and friends,” said Joan Brewster, Director of the Grays Harbor County Health Department.
“Conner died from a very uncommon complication of the flu in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed,” reports Dr. John Bausher, the Grays Harbor County Health Officer. “This is a rare event that is associated with many different kinds of viral illness such as measles, chickenpox, mumps, and influenza (flu). When it happens, it is heartbreaking.”
Conner’s death is the first in Grays Harbor County to be attributed to the swine flu virus. Public health and school officials are working together with Conner’s family to address parent, student, and staff concerns.