Denton County Flu Cases Double in Past Week

By Scott Gordon
|  Monday, Dec 27, 2010  |  Updated 11:07 PM CDT
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Health officials in <a title=Denton County warn of a ?substantial increase? in flu cases." />

Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com

Health officials in Denton County warn of a ?substantial increase? in flu cases.

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Health officials in Denton County warned Monday of a “substantial increase” in flu cases as doctors braced for more influenza across Texas.

Juan Rodriguez, an epidemiologist for the Denton County Health Department, said the number of flu cases had doubled in the past week.

“I think we can officially say that flu season has started,” he said.

He cautioned most cases of the flu are unreported and his assessment is based on partial information from hospitals and doctor’s offices.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the flu outbreak in Texas as “regional” -- one step below “widespread.”

At doctor's offices and clinics such as Primacare at Mockingbird Lane and Abrams Road in Dallas, doctors have also noted an increase.

"The occurrence of flu and flu-like symptoms has picked up in the last two weeks and probably even more in the past week,” said Dr. Cynthia Dott, the clinic’s associate medical director. “We had really been slow with flu prior to that."

She said H1N1, commonly known as the swine flu, is still around -- but without last year's hoopla.

Experts said it's impossible to predict how bad this flu season will be but suggested everyone take precautions.

"The main thing we encourage people to do are the basics of good hand-washing, covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, precautionary things like that plus getting your annual flu shot,” Dott said.


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