Dallas County Reports Five New Flu-Related Deaths, Total Now at 23

DFW-area flu-related deaths now at 26 between Dallas and Tarrant counties

Officials with the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department report another five people have died from flu-related illnesses.

The most recent deaths bring the total number of people killed from flu-related illnesses to 23 in Dallas County. Earlier in the day, Tarrant County reported their first three deaths of the season Wednesday, bringing the North Texas total of flu-related deaths to 26.

Dallas County revealed little about the victims other than their ages and that they all had high-risk health conditions and that they died after complications from the seasonal flu.

  • 19th case -- 94-years-old -- lived in Dallas
  • 20th case -- 38-years-old -- lived in Dallas
  • 21st case -- 93-years-old -- lived in Dallas
  • 22nd case -- 89-years-old -- lived in Dallas
  • 23rd case -- 71-years-old -- lived in Dallas

"All indications show that we are in the midst of the most intense weeks of flu season,” said Ganesh Shivamaiyer, DCHHS interim director. “Staying home when you are sick and practicing good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands helps stop the spread of germs and prevents respiratory illnesses like the flu. If you have a high risk condition, remember to keep a safe distance from individuals who have flu like symptoms."

Influenza Surveillance Report (Week Ending Jan. 27, 2018)
Click on each state for more information.

Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nina Lin/NBC

Dr. Christopher Perkins, with DCHHS, said older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women,  young children and infants are the most vulnerable to the flu. Perkins advises those individuals to take special precautions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season nationwide is far worse than what they saw last year at this time.

Left: Reported Flu Activity for the Week of Dec. 31, 2016 (Week 52); Right: Reported Flu Activity for the Week of Dec. 30, 2017 (Week 52)
Data: CDC

Last year, 12 states had widespread cases, but this year there are 46. More than 400 people have died from the flu around the country.

While the flu shot isn't always effective, doctors say if you catch the flu and have had the shot the symptoms may be less severe.

Doctors also recommend following common-sense hygiene practices including covering your cough with a tissue or sleeve, washing hands with warm soap and water, keeping your hands away from your face and avoiding close contact with people who are sick or who appear ill. For other tips on how to not contract, or spread, germs, click here.

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