It seems we’re not completely out of the wood yet. Unfortunately, the second US victim of the H1N1 swine flu virus was a pregnant woman.

Judy Dominguez Trunnell was a 33-yeard old special education teacher from Cameron County, Texas that lies on the US/Mexico border. CDC reports that she was admitted to the hospital at approximately thirty-three weeks because of respiratory problems. Her pregnancy was complicated by asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. She remained in the hospital for two weeks then succumbed to a coma. Although an emergency cesarean section delivered a baby girl, mom died on May 7th leaving behind two daughters and a husband.

Tunnell had a weak immune system making it difficult to fight off infections. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases that attack its own body. Living near the Mexico border and teaching special needs children probably increased her risk of exposure to the H1N1 virus as well. Some necessary precautions are in order:

• Most symptoms of seasonal flu involve fever (90 percent); cough (84 percent) and a sore throat (61 percent). However only one in four people complain of vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea along with fever, sore throat or a cough, requires a trip to a healthcare provider for further investigation that includes obtaining a special swab from your nose.

• CDC reports that the virus spreads not only through the air but also through feces-contaminated hands. Wash your hands; wash your hands; wash your hands; PLEASE – and preferably with an alcohol based gel.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I will continue to report updates as they emerge.