Anchorage airman dies of H1N1 complications near Arizona base

This is the kind of things we need to watch for. I’m not saying that there’s any reason for alarm, because there isn’t – yet. But, as more and more healthy people succumb to the Novel H1N1 (Swine) flu, the greater the chances that the virus is mutating. Right now, we just need to keep watch on this.

Anchorage airman dies of H1N1 complications near Arizona base

An airman from Anchorage has died of swine flu complications in Arizona, where he was stationed.

Staff Sgt. Shawn Rankin, 25, died early Oct. 4, according to Justin Oakes, spokesman for Luke Air Force Base. The base, home to the 56th Fighter Wing, is near Phoenix.

The Friday before, Rankin didn’t go to work; he apparently called in sick, Oakes said. Rankin lived off base in Glendale, Ariz. Early in the morning of Oct. 4, someone at his apartment called 911 because he wasn’t responding. Medics couldn’t revive him and he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Preliminary autopsy results from the Maricopa County medical examiner found that he died of complications from an H1N1 infection, the Air Force said in a statement Friday.

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Rob Hanus

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