Orleans reports suspected H1N1 flu death
Victim was under 18, with underlying health conditions
By Brittany Baker
Saturday, December 12, 2009 2:22 AM EST
ALBION — The Orleans County Health Department is reporting that it suspects a minor died this week from complications due to the H1N1 virus, the county’s first death connected to H1N1, said Public Health Director Paul Pettit.
He did not identify the person suspected with H1N1, citing privacy laws.
A 16-year-old from Holley, Tim Barbato, died Tuesday from pneumonia. He had contracted H1N1 and had been Strong Memorial Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit for about three weeks, his family wrote on the Caring Bridge Web site.
CaringBridge.org helps keep family and friends informed when a loved one is fighting a serious illness. Family and friends receive updates on the patient and they can leave messages of support.
Tim, a senior at Holley High School, contracted H1N1 despite getting vaccinated, his family said on Caring Bridge.
Pettit said a sample has been sent to the Wadsworth Center, the state Department of Health’s laboratory in Albany. That test should reveal if H1N1 was a factor in the death.
Pettit urged county residents to consider getting the H1N1 vaccine. The county Public Health Department is offering the vaccine during a clinic today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Health Department on 14012 Route 31 West, next to the nursing home.
The vaccine is open to anyone in the county. About 1,500 Orleans County residents have already been vaccinated at five previous clinics.
Pettit also urged residents to wash their hands frequently and take other precautions to avoid contracting H1N1.