Swine Flu claims Troy student's life

Andrew Salter (Courtesy: Kelsey Wilkes)
Andrew Salter (Courtesy: Kelsey Wilkes)

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Black ribbons hang on the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity sign at Troy University in memory of 18-year old Andrew Salter of Valley, Alabama.

"It's a shocker and it's so surreal," said fraternity president Brett Singletary.

Singletary admitted when he first heard about the H1N1 virus a few months ago he didn't take it seriously, never thought it would hit home. Salter's death changed all that.

"This hits home because I just saw him about 5 days before he got sick," said Singletary.

Andrew Salter was a freshman and lived at Alumni Hall. Salter's dad that Andrew earned a partial scholarship to attend Troy University and, ironically, decided to major in nursing.

The family confirms Andrew had no underlying medical issues. He was diagnosed with Swine flu last week and actually got better one day, but took a turn for the worse on Friday when he passed away from pneumonia at the Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan.

Herb Reeves is the Dean of Student Services. He says there are no plans for now to close down the university.

"We're all shocked by this but it would have to reach a point of affecting our student production," said Reeves who says the campus student health clinic averages about 5 cases of flu-like symptoms a day.

Andrew Salter becomes the 4th person in Alabama to die from Swine flu, and according to state health officials, Salter may not be the last.

As to why most people survive Swine flu and others don't, state health officials say it all comes down to the fact that all of our bodies are different; some people can handle the high temperature, for example, while warding off the flu with medications while the virus is simply too much for others.

A life cut short by Swine flu, an illness that's caught the attention of a fraternity president.

Salter's funeral is Thursday at 11 AM at the Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home in Midland City, Alabama. The family will accept visitors on Wednesday beginning at 5 PM.

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