Dallas County Reports 16th Flu-Related Death

A 16th person has died of flu-related complications, Dallas County Health and Human Services reported Friday.

“The patient was 62 years of age with underlying medical conditions and was a resident of Dallas,” the agency reported. “To date, 16 influenza-associated deaths have been reported in Dallas County during the 2019-2020 season (15 adult flu deaths and 1 pediatric death).”

“In addition, there are two possible influenza-associated pediatric deaths that are pending Medical Examiner’s determination of cause of death.”

DCHHS director Philip Huang said it’s still important to get a flu shot if anyone hasn’t done that yet.

“This latest death is another reminder that flu is serious and remains at high levels in our community,” he said. “It is still not too late to get the flu vaccine if you have not already done so, and practice prevention measures.”

Huang also said that preventive actions like frequent hand washing, sneezing and coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and staying home if you have flu-like symptoms can help slow the spread of the flu, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for all persons aged six months and older, with rare exceptions.

The most recent county influenza surveillance report was for the week ending Jan. 11. Flu tests returned positive results 24.9% of the time, with 157 flu-related hospitalizations. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) tests decreased, with 4.7% percent of tests reporting positive.

Overall, federal health officials said Texas is among the states with high numbers of reported flu cases.

Flu vaccines for adults and children are available at all DCHHS immunization clinic sites at no cost.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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