Denton County Reports First Two Flu Deaths, Including One Child
Denton County Public Health (DCPH) is reporting the first and second influenza associated deaths in Denton County for the 2017-2018 flu season. One of the deaths was a child. For patient confidentiality, no further information will be released.
“Our surveillance has indicated increased flu activity in recent weeks, and we anticipate high activity for the next several weeks,” says Juan Rodriguez, DCPH Assistant Director and Chief Epidemiologist. “It is important for residents to be proactive in practicing prevention through receiving the flu vaccine and taking action to prevent the spread of disease.”
DCPH recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu:
1. Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu shot, and the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
2. Remember that antiviral medications are a second-line defense against the flu. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flu complications.
3. Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. Cover your cough and sneeze, avoid people experiencing flu symptoms, stay home when you feel sick and wash your hands often. These steps will help prevent respiratory viruses, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus.
Corwin Warmink, M.D., medical director of Emergency Services at Cook Children’s, reminds parents if your child is sick or has a fever, to wait 24 hours before sending the child back to school. “It’s important to minimize contact with others, especially in close quarters,” Dr. Warmink said.
At Cook Children’s, the number of children who have tested positive for the flu has gone down over the past two weeks. Last week, 283 children tested positive for the flu. Two weeks ago, 429 tested positive.
All unvaccinated residents over six months of age are strongly encouraged to be immunized for the flu.
“We want to remind residents that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine,” stated Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated today will help protect families throughout the remainder of the season.”
DCPH reminds residents that getting vaccinated is a community effort that not only protects yourself, but also those at highest risk for flu complications, including:
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
- Children younger than 5
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- People living in long-term care facilities
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People with chronic health conditions
For more information:
- Why Your Family Should (Still) Get a Flu Shot
- When Is The Flu an Emergency?
- 6 Tips To Help Your Child Get Through The Flu