State Confirms Rio Grande Valley Site of First Pediatric Flu-Related Death, 74 Cases of Flu Last Week at Cook Children's
Last week, Nov. 17-23, 2019, 826 patients were tested for the flu, with 210 testing positive for the flu (197 Flu B, 13 Flu A) and 209 more testing postive for RSV.
5-year-old did not receive flu shot
The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the state’s first child death of the 2019-2020 Flu Season in a tweet on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Texas DSHS reported the 5-year-old child from the Rio Grande health region did not get the flu shot this year.
Texas flu activity continues to rise and is at an above-average level, per the week’s DSHS flu report.
At Cook Children’s Medical Center, the lab tested 529 children for the flu during the week of Nov. 10-16, 2019. A total of 74 kids tested positive for the flu (63 with Influenza B and 11 with Influenza A) and 152 more were confirmed to have RSV.
“For more than 50 years, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received season flu shots,” the agency wrote in its tweet.
“The flu vaccine is still the best form of protection we have to fight off getting sick,” said Justin Smith, M.D., a pediatrician at Cook Children’s in Trophy Club. “The vaccine is especially important for children aged 6 months to 5 years. They are at the highest risk for serious flu-related complications, including death. Even if you do get the flu, people who are vaccinated generally get a milder and less dangerous form of the illness.”
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 2019-2020 flu season. Both protect against four types of influenza viruses: Influenza A (H1N1), Influenza A (H3N2) and two influenza B viruses.
You may remember the spray shot wasn’t previously available for children because it didn’t work as well. The newer versions appear to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is approved for use in people 2 years through 49 years of age. People who are pregnant or have certain medical conditions (such as asthma) should not receive the nasal spray influenza vaccine.
Influenza/Flu Information for North Texas
Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. It affects all age groups, though kids tend to get it more often than adults.
In North Texas, Flu season runs from October to May, with most cases happening between late December and early March. Click here to schedule a shot of flu prevention for your child.
More Helpful Links About The Flu