Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
BYU’s longest-running dance instructor killed by flu

Public health » Adults most vulnerable to H1N1 strain circulating this year.

First Published Jan 15 2014 03:26 pm • Last Updated Jan 16 2014 10:50 am

A Brigham Young University dance instructor died Monday of complications from H1N1, also known as the swine flu, according to colleagues.

Adjunct folk dance teacher Delynne Peay, 62, was healthy before Christmas, but came down with the flu as well as pneumonia and a staph infection over the two-week school break, said BYU World Dance Administrator Colleen West.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We were all in shock she was ill enough to be sent to the hospital," West said. "She had a really strong, brilliant personality ... we did not see this coming at all."

Peay, the department’s longest-running faculty member, had taught folk, ethnic dance and other classes for 39 years, according to a statement from the school’s College of Fine Arts and Communications.

"Delynne was a woman of great energy and life," said department chairwoman Marilyn Berrett in the statement. "She gave so much to the world of dance and will be dearly missed. She has certainly left a large set of shoes to fill."

One of her students, Katilyn Gourley, set up a donation site to help the family with medical bills at gofundme.com/61wafw.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 36,000 people die annually from the flu.

Utah’s Department of Health only monitors pediatric deaths from the flu, and none have been reported this year.

But it’s adults between the ages of 25 and 49 who are most vulnerable to H1N1, which is the predominant strain circulating this year. It was named the swine flu when it first surfaced in 2009 and is responsible for most of Utah’s 478 flu hospitalizations since the season’s start in October.

There have been a handful of news accounts of adults dying from influenza, which public health officials can neither confirm nor deny. County health officials have confirmed three adults in southwest Utah and two adults in Salt Lake County have died from the flu, without releasing further details.

story continues below
story continues below

"It’s difficult for us to confirm that the death was caused by influenza," said Becky Ward, a health educator at state Health Department. "We know it’s out there; that’s the message we need to get to the public."

Flu hospitalizations, however, appear to have reached their peak.

"Probably over the next few weeks [Utah] will see a gradual decline," said Ward, noting the risk for flu is now "moderate," while last year at this time it was still "high."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.