Dallas County Health and Human Services fears influenza will be a major problem this season and that recorded positive flu cases are up 330 percent over the same time last year.
DCHHS recorded 758 positive cases in the county the week of Nov. 28. At the same time last year, the number of cases was 176.
“It’s very concerning because we are relatively early in the season and we are on the verge of possibly peaking at the end of the month,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, with DCHHS, at Tuesday's meeting of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.
The number of positive cases in the county the week of Nov. 28 is nearly double than the week before.
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“I caught the flu last year and I didn't want to repeat that this year,” said Willie Cole, of Dallas.
Cole, 52, got his first flu shot this season. He didn’t want to catch the flu a second straight year.
“I’m a big man and I felt very weak,” said Cole, describing his symptoms. “You can’t eat right. If you do eat, you don't feel right. You want to lie around, you’re grouchy. You don't want to get into all that.”
Kaden Badom, 6, tested positive for the flu early Tuesday morning after the first grader came home sick from school on Monday.
“I was laying my head because I didn't feel good,” said Badom.
A quick flu test at Children’s Health confirmed the child had the flu.
“I kind of figured that's what it was because people were already saying, even my doctor was saying, it’s a real bad strain of flu that's going around right now,” said his great-grandmother Dorothy Watts.
Badom had not gotten his flu shot yet this year.
One person in Dallas has died this season related to the flu. Health officials are finding that some of the H3N2 strain has mutated and doesn't match this year's vaccine, though they are still recommending people get vaccinated.
“What we are finding is with the strain mutating it’s going to be a challenge in terms of the CDC or any federal agency getting the exact strain correct,” said DCHHS Director Zach Thompson.
Thompson said there are currently plenty of doses of the vaccine in the county, but facilities could run out by next month as the demand for the vaccine increases.