CHCC monitoring increase in flu-like incidences


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has yet to identify what specifically caused the death of Federal Emergency Management Agency staffer Thomas Stilwell from “influenza-like” symptoms.

In a news briefing yesterday afternoon at the CHCC conference room, Medical Director Dr. Daniel Lamar said their investigation showed it “was complications from influenza, which does occur and happens in some people who have higher risk factors.”

Stilwell passed away at the Commonwealth Health Center Saturday evening. He was 65.

“We’ve discussed in our Flu-Watch Campaign for people who are older and their immune system is not working well, those are people who are most susceptible and can experience complications of influenza. That is why we stress that in our campaign,” he added.

Stilwell suffered from respiratory problems, most likely complications from the influenza symptoms, he said.

“No real cause of death but the only thing we know is he was having influenza-like symptoms,” Lamar said.

According to Lamar, CHCC has seen a spike in the number of influenza-like illnesses in the community and tests on those who’ve gone to the Commonwealth Health Center confirm that.

Those who are most vulnerable to influenza are children ages 6 months to 2 years of age and people 65 years old or more.

Warren Villagomez, Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program director, said they activated the Flu-Watch Campaign a month ago and have printed materials that will be distributed at the U.S Postal Service in Chalan Kanoa, the Nutrition Assistance Program in As Lito, and other areas to educate the community.

“Flu shots will be provided later when we get the vaccine,” Villagomez said.

If anyone is feeling sick, CHCC urges people to stay home, don’t go to work, and just rest or visit the hospital to get checked.

“We know it’s here in the community and we want to let the public know that this is another reason to exercise prevention,” he said.

Lamar noted that Stilwell is so far the only known death from influenza-like symptoms despite the increase in influenza-like illnesses in the community.

However, there isn’t any specific numbers on the increase and no further details on Stilwell’s death was provided by CHCC.

CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña assured that the corporation is “closely monitoring this incident among flu-like symptoms that we have been seeing through our clinics.”

Muna noted that they have been doing some testing and they will be sending them to Hawaii for further tests.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at

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