An Ottawa teenager and a 52-year-old woman from outside the capital are the first two deaths in eastern Ontario to be linked to the H1N1 virus.

Ottawa health officials say the teenaged boy, who had underlying health problems, died at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario on Tuesday.

The woman, who was being treated at an Ottawa hospital, died within the last few days. Health officials say she also had pre-existing medical conditions and it is unclear what role the virus played in her death.

Ottawa's top medical officer of health said there are now about 260 confirmed cases of the virus in the capital. The average age of victims is about 16 years old.

Although eastern Ontario has only reported two deaths linked to the virus, Dr. Isra Levy said he expects more.

So far, most of the cases in the region have been mild. However, those with chronic conditions are more at risk.

". . . as with seasonal influenza, we do expect to see some cases of more severe illness in people with risk factors such as chronic heart disease, lung disease, weakened immune system, diabetes and pregnancy," said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, eastern Ontario's medical officer of health.

Residents who are experiencing mild symptoms of the virus are asked to take care of themselves at home. However, those with significant symptoms or underlying health problems should see a doctor.

Symptoms of the H1N1 flu may include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • severe headache
  • sore throat
  • lack of appetite

Residents who have general questions about the virus are asked to call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120.