BG man dies with H1N1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JAN LARSON Sentinel County Editor   
Friday, 20 November 2009 12:09
A 53-year-old Bowling Green man has died of H1N1 flu complications. Kevin Babcock, who died Wednesday, was the first person to die of H1N1 at Wood County Hospital.
Since Aug. 31, a dozen Wood County residents have been hospitalized for H1N1. Though H1N1 cases routinely don't have to be reported to health departments, any hospitalizations or deaths from the illness must be reported, according to Pat Snyder, public information officer with the Wood County Health Department.
Babcock had been in and out of the hospital since August for bronchitis and pneumonia, according to his sister, Starlah Burks, of Cygnet.
"He just never could get better. He could not get over it," Burks said this morning.
Last Thursday, Babcock was diagnosed as having H1N1, his sister said. Family members who had been around him recently were told to take medication to prevent the spread of the illness. Visitors had to wear masks, gowns, gloves and goggles, and the door to his hospital room was kept closed, she added.
"I didn't know how critical he was," Burks said.
Family was told his kidneys, liver and circulatory system began shutting down over the weekend.
"His organs just went down," Burks said. "He just couldn't do it."
Burks said her brother had a "heart of gold" and would help anyone in need.
Kevin Babcock
"Kevin didn't worry about himself, he worried about other people."
Burks had fond memories of her brother, who was seven years her senior, giving her rides in a wheelbarrow. The rides frequently ended with Burks being playfully dumped in the ditch.
Babcock was employed for 17 years with Century Marketing in Bowling Green and was a longtime delivery employee of the Sentinel-Tribune.
He served in the Army National Guard for many years and was a member of the AMVETS, Bowling Green, and Rudolph Christian Church. (Complete obituary - click here)
Wood County Hospital has seen an increase during the last couple months in the number of patients coming in with H1N1 and other respiratory problems, according to George Massar, vice president of operations at the hospital.
"We're seeing more patients than this time last year," Massar said of the emergency department.
Hospital staff has been trained on the standard precautions being taken at all hospitals in the region, and signage has been posted to make visitors aware of precautions they should take around patients with H1N1, he said.
The Wood County Health Department has been holding H1N1 flu vaccine clinics almost weekly in the county, with the next one scheduled for Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Wood County Junior Fair Building, at 13800 W. Poe Road. The vaccines are free.
While the vaccine clinics thus far have been directed to high risk populations, Snyder said within a couple weeks the county should have enough vaccine to open up the clinics to anyone interested.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2009 12:25

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