Officials Confirm North Carolina's First Swine Flu Death

A North Carolina adult with underlying health conditions has died from complications related to the swine flu, the state's first death linked to the virus, officials said Wednesday.

The patient recently had a heart procedure and returned to the hospital several days after being released, Moses Cone Health System said in a statement. The hospital system said the patient was in critical condition with severe pneumonia and died Friday, hours after returning to the seek medical care.

"We certainly send our thoughts and prayers to the family," said Joan Wessman, chief nursing officer at Moses Cone Health.

Officials said the person has tested positive for swine flu.

The state is considering the Greensboro case a "related" swine flu death because of the person's other medical complications. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Renee McCoy said officials have anticipated seeing some deaths from the swine flu.

State health officials have confirmed at least 124 swine flu cases in the state. There have been more than 20,000 U.S. cases of the swine flu and 87 deaths.

Moses Cone Health recently said a respiratory therapist who tested positive for swine flu may have unknowingly exposed 33 babies at a hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital has said none of the babies have shown symptoms and said Wednesday that the swine flu death was unrelated.