A Scottsboro elementary student died Monday from complications caused by swine flu, Alabama health officials confirmed Wednesday.

Dr. Jim McVay, director of health promotion and chronic disease for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said Wednesday that Alex Garcia, 12, died due to swine flu.

McVay said Monday that swine flu was suspected in Garcia’s death, but official results had not been returned at that time. Garcia died at Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro, marking the third swine flu-related death in Alabama, according to a statement released by Judy Smith with the state health department.

Garcia attended Collins Elementary School in Scottsboro.

Patsy Craig, infection prevention manager at DeKalb Regional Medical Center, said there have been 11 confirmed cases of swine flu in DeKalb County, with none resulting in death so far.

McVay and Craig both said it is now believed swine flu is no worse than the regular, seasonal flu strain and, in some cases, might actually be milder. However, children are more at risk for swine flu as they lack a natural immunity found in adults.

Ft. Payne Times – Journal