Columbus Teen Dies Of Swine Flu Complications.

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An east side school and neighborhood are mourning the loss of a teenager Friday. WOSU reports on Central Ohio’s latest death from Swine Flu.

Flags are at half staff at Holy Spirit School near East Broad Street as classmates and faculty mourn the loss of 14-year-old Jon Fowler. Fowler died at Children’s Hospital of swine flu complications.

Fowler is the first teenager to die from H1N1 in Central Ohio.

Somchai Jittjumnongk is a neighbor.

“I thought the father was sick at first,” Jittjumnongk said.

But Jittjumnongk was wrong. He said he was shocked to learn of the boy’s death. Jittjumnongk remembers Fowler as a good, helpful kid.

“Always spend time, do the work with his dad. When his dad had to clean up the backyard he’s there with his dad. Trim the tree. His dad going to miss him. Too bad. I gotta a son myself. I know how he feels,” Jittjumnongk said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say swine flu is “widespread” in Central Ohio.

Columbus’s Assistant Health Commissioner, Debbie Coleman, said the young are especially susceptible to the virus.

“Young individuals don’t have the immunities from different years of exposure to this virus and we don’t have all the information about why they are more vulnerable at this point. But they are developing these complications at a higher rate,” Coleman said.

Coleman added complications can arise quickly even after a patient appears to be getting well.

“Respiratory difficulties may not appear until day five or six. And we typically think of ourselves as recovering from an infection by that point. And when they start to appear individuals are going from having very mild symptoms to respiratory failure in fewer than 24 hours,” she said.

Beginning Monday Children’s Hospital will not allow visitors under the age of 12. Other Children’s Hospitals around the state are taking similar precautions.

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