Medical examiner suspects flu in Fairbanks death

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2003

FAIRBANKS - Flu is the suspected cause in the death of a 10-month-old girl from Eielson Air Force Base, officials said.

Faith Goff was pronounced dead at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital on Wednesday after her mother found her unresponsive.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate influenza is involved in the infant's death, said Dr. Franco Fallico, acting chief state medical examiner.

"Right now it looks like this infant died from an acute viral ailment that's consistent with influenza," Fallico said.

But the diagnosis will not be confirmed until the state laboratory reviews results from cultures that were taken, he said. If confirmed, it could mark the second flu death in Alaska this month.

The laboratory is also waiting for test results on cultures taken from a 17-year-old Kotlik girl to confirm suspicions she died from influenza last week.

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