Ottawa has had its first two deaths linked with influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu.

The virus has been linked to the death of two people in Ottawa, including a teen male, Ottawa Public Health said yesterday.

The young male, who had tested positive for the virus, died at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario over the last few days, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Isra Levy.

Although Ottawa Public Health said the male also had underlying chronic health problems, he would not say what they were out of respect for the family.

A 52-year-old female from outside Ottawa who had also tested positive for H1N1 also succumbed while at the Ottawa Hospital over the last few days.

So far, Ottawa has 261 confirmed cases of H1N1, said Levy. There are 2,665 confirmed cases in the province and there have been 15 deaths.

The advice remains the same, said Dr. Lindy Samson, chief of infectious diseases at CHEO.

To prevent the spread of disease, people should wash their hands frequently and cough into their sleeves, she said.

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