A third person has died in Dallas County after contracting influenza.
Dallas County Health and Human Services Department confirmed the death Wednesday of a 79-year-old from Irving who had preexisting medical conditions.
The death is third flu-related death confirmed by the county in the last 10 days.
"This is the earliest we have had this much flu activity in than last 10 years," said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang. "It's not too late to get your seasonal flu shot."
With rare exception, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the flu vaccine for everyone older than 6 months.
On Tuesday, Dec. 10, DCHHS began offering free seasonal flu vaccines for children and adults. Clinic hours and locations can be found here.
"Getting flu vaccine is especially important for persons with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease—to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. Practicing everyday preventive actions can also help slow the spread of influenza and other respiratory illnesses. These steps include: frequent hand washing, covering your coughs/sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow and staying home if you have flu-like symptoms. Finally, if you do get sick with the flu, take antiviral medications if your doctor prescribes them."
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So far, two pediatric deaths from the flu have been reported in the state, including a case in Tarrant County.
Flu numbers continue to rise in Texas, with widespread cases of Flu A and B in Dallas and Tarrant counties.
Tips for Avoiding the Flu
- Get a flu vaccine every season, especially people at high risk
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- If you're experiencing flu symptoms, visit your doctor and begin taking antiviral medications to help you recover more quickly