The Dallas County Health Department says a third person has died after contracting the flu.
The patient was a 71-year-old person who was a resident of Dallas. Further details have not been released for medical and privacy reasons.
Meanwhile, health officials continue to warn people nationwide of widespread flu activity as flu season ramps up. In December, the number of reported cases in Dallas and Tarrant counties skyrocketed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data Friday that estimated "so far during the 2018-2019 season between about 6 and 7 million people have been sick with flu, up to half of those people have sought medical care for their illness, and between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized from flu. This is the first time these estimates— which cover the period from Oct. 1, 2018 through Jan. 5, 2019— are being provided during the flu season."
“We cannot predict the intensity, severity or duration of the flu season from year to year,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS Health Authority/Medical Director. “The best way to protect yourself and others is to get your seasonal flu shot.”
It is not too late to receive the flu vaccine.
The CDC advises all children older than 6 months receive an annual flu vaccine, with rare exception, and adds that some children are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications which can result in hospitalization and death. DCHHS recently announced free multi-strain flu vaccines for children at all six immunizations clinic locations.
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DCHHS is also extending free multi-strain flu vaccines to adults and seniors at the following clinic locations and community events while supplies last:
• Main DCHHS Building 2377 North Stemmons Freeway, First Floor, Dallas
• Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Mexican Consulate 1210 River Bend Drive, Dallas
• Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the South Garland Branch Library, 4845 Broadway Boulevard, Garland
• Jan. 30 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mexican Consulate, 1210 River Bend Drive, Dallas
“Getting your seasonal flu shot is your first line of defense against the flu virus, especially if you have underlying medical conditions”, said Interim Director Ganesh Shivaramaiyer. “Practicing good hygiene which includes frequent hand washing, covering your coughs/sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow and staying home if you have flu-like symptoms”.