Nacogdoches Co. has first confirmed H1N1 virus death

Published: Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:09 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:58 PM CST
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Carol Moore (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Carol Moore (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A spokeswoman for Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital confirmed that a 53-year-old Cushing man died as a result of contracting the H1N1 virus, which is more commonly known as swine flu.

Beth Knight, the director of nursing for Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital confirmed that a man in his 50s died Saturday. She said he is a confirmed H1N1 victim.

"We do have one confirmed H1N1 death," Knight said.

East Texas News did some digging and learned that the man was an inmate at the Nacogdoches County Jail when he was first admitted to the hospital for flu-like symptoms on Dec. 5. A Nacogdoches County Jail spokesman confirmed that the man's name was Carol Keith Moore.

The illness began as bacterial pneumonia. According to jail officials, Moore spent the night of Dec. 5 at the hospital, and was released back to the jail the next day. However, because jail administrator Joe Evans was concerned that Moore could still be contagious, the inmate was sent back to the hospital.

Evans said within 24 hours, Moore was placed in a medically induced coma to drain fluid from his lungs. Family and friends said Moore remained on a respirator for 22 days.

The jail was notified Friday, December 27th, one day before Moore died, that he tested positive for H1N1. The death is a sobering warning that the H1N1 flu can take an otherwise healthy individual down in a matter of days.

"My understanding is at first they did not test positive and later did," Knight said.

Moore was booked into the Nacogdoches County jail on Sept. 30 on a Class A misdemeanor charge of motion to revoke probation for terroristic threat to interrupt a public place, according to a jail official.

Moore, a man who loved hunting and the Dallas Cowboys, will serve as a sobering reminder that h1n1 is a flu that cannot be taken lightly.

A spokesperson for the Nacogdoches County justice of the peace who performed an inquest on a woman who died on Dec. 20 after she started exhibiting flu-like symptoms and developed septic shock said the woman is being tested for the swine flu virus. The justice of the peace ordered an autopsy on the woman.

According to an East Texas News story out of Tyler, East Texas Medical Center has a confirmed case of H1N1 as well. Two Gregg County residents died as a result of the H1N1 virus December. Authorities said neither of the people received a flu shot.

"It's not too late to get your flu shot even though it will take about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect," Knight said.

Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital technicians are conducting up to 60 tests a day for type A and B strains of the flu.

"The H1N1 that everyone is so concerned about is a type A," said Nancy French, the lead tech with the hospital's microbiology department. "If we should get a positive on our type and the physician feels additional testing is necessary, we will send that specimen out to the reference lab for additional testing for typing for H1N1."

But treatment against H1N1 can begin immediately. Patients are always placed in isolation.

"They put on gowns, masks, gloves that sort of thing," said Jessica Stewart, Nacogdoches Memorial's director of infection control.

Stewart said she remembers the last big outbreak of H1N1 back in 2009. She said this year isn't near as bad. She wants it to stay that way.

"There were lots of deaths and it was very scary when it first came through, so to have this second round this year and to have this death it's kind of feeling like a replay of that year," Stewart said.

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