With Plenty of Flu Vaccine in Dallas County, Why Are Fewer People Getting It?

The flu season is here. And, if an ominous early trend holds up, this could be a bad season for Dallas.There's a lot of hacking and coughing going on as anyone at work, school or home can attest. Of course, not every cough and runny nose is a sign of the flu, but Dallas County Health and Human Services officials don't like what they're seeing. As of Dec. 9, about 17.1 percent of Dallas County specimens reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested positive, nearly twice the national average of 8.4 percent. That's a significant increase from mid-November when Dallas County specimens reported positive 7.5 percent of the time, also twice the national average of 4.4 percent at that time. The trend is in the wrong direction, and the spike in flu cases is occurring earlier than in previous years, officials say. The county just recorded its first flu-related death this season a 98-year-old Dallas resident who died from complications. About 100 people in Dallas County were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses during the past week, and a flu outbreak recently prompted the entire Sunnyvale school district to temporarily suspend classes as sick students stayed home and officials looked for a way to prevent the virus from spreading.  Continue reading...

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