H1N1 death, Nacogdoches working on plan of action

Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KLTV) - Nacogdoches health officials are working on a plan of action following the first death recorded in the county as a result of H1N1, a hospital spokesman said.

A 55-year-old oil rig worker from Mississippi, checked himself into Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital three days ago with severe symptoms of pneumonia, Kim Barton said.

His roommate, a 53-year-old man from Oklahoma also checked himself into the hospital three days ago with the same symptoms. He is now listed in critical condition at the hospital.

Both men did not have pre-existing conditions before contracting H1N1.

The men were working at oil rigs in Melrose, Barton said.

It started at the Nacogdoches County Memorial emergency room. Hospital workers knew they were looking at two very sick men.

"We isolated the individual, gave supportive measures to manage his airway and prevent him from deteriorating, but the disease process took place and he passed away this morning," said Tim Hayward, a Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital administrator.

The men were healthy and strong enough to work on an oil rig just east of Nacogdoches.

"What we see, like what we saw with this individual, is they deteriorate very rapidly," said Hayward.

Now, the hospital is focusing on the rest of the community. Thursday night, oil rig-workers were vaccinated and hotel staff where the men lived have been offered shots.

"We are using this kind of as an index case and working out to vaccine anybody that may have come in contact," said Hayward. "Where they stayed and where they slept in Nacogdoches, we're looking to vaccinate those individuals and those that work in that area."

Despite these developments, state officials say Nacogdoches is a low-risk area for the virus.

But right now, folks would rather be safe than sorry.

Memorial Hospital is planning a shot clinic with the limited amount of vaccinations available. It is set up from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center.

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