Swine flu kills Galveston resident


by By T.J. Aulds and Rhiannon Meyers /The Daily News


Posted on November 7, 2009 at 2:38 PM

GALVESTON, Texas -- A Galveston man who was being treated at the University of Texas Medical Branch for more than a week died Wednesday from swine flu, officials and his family said Friday.

It was the second reported death from swine flu in the county this year.

Barney Adams, 48, was admitted in the medical branch’s John Sealy Hospital on Oct. 28 with flu-like symptoms after he was brought into the hospital’s emergency room. He died eight days later from the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu, and from complications from pneumonia, a hospital official said.

Adams’ body had not been transferred to the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy as of Friday afternoon.

Galveston County Health District spokesman Mike Carr also said a man from Galveston between 25 and 49 years old had died as a result of swine flu. The health district uses a Centers for Disease Control protocol that reveals little information about those who die from the disease.

According to an obituary published in today’s The Daily News by his family, Adams’ “love of family was strong, and his passion for the outdoors was evident.”

Adams’ death comes less than a week after officials released information on the county’s first death from swine flu.

Renacia Scott, 31, died Oct. 20 as a result of the H1N1 virus, as well as of a secondary infection of viral pneumonia, the Galveston County medical examiner said. Health officials did not disclose the woman’s death until about a week later.

She had sought treatment at John Sealy Hospital on Oct. 16 but was released a few hours after coming into the emergency room. She died four days later at her home in Galveston.

Her family contends she was not admitted into the hospital because she lacked insurance.

But hospital officials denied that and said the decision to admit patients for swine flu or any other condition is made on a case-by-case basis.

There are specific protocols for swine flu and pneumonia that include pre-existing conditions and a general assessment of the risk of the infection worsening without hospital treatment, Dr. Steve Quach, interim chief medical officer for the medical branch, said.

With swine flu, if the patient is a child or in his or her 20s, doctors give serious consideration to hospitalization because young people are more susceptible to this year’s strain of the virus, Quach said.

Both fatal cases of the swine flu in Galveston County, however, have been people older than 30.

Most cases with flu symptoms that come into the medical branch’s emergency department do not result in hospitalization, Quach said.

This story was brought to you thanks to our partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.