Flu Cases Jump in Dallas, Tarrant County in Recent Reports

It's not unexpected this time of year, but influenza activity is increasing.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported an elevated number of people visiting their doctors with flu-like illness.

During the final week of 2018, the most recent reporting period, 15 percent of flu tests in Dallas County were being returned positive.

In the week leading up to Dec. 1, 2018, there were 36 positive flu cases reported in Dallas County, seven of which required hospitalization and three of those patients were sent to the ICU. During the final week of the year, positive cases were more than 13 times higher with 475 positive cases reported, 67 of which required hospitalization and 14 of those patients were sent to the ICU.

The Tarrant County Health Department reported a similar increase in cases, jumping from 61 confirmed cases during the first week of December to more than 600 just before Christmas.

According to the CDC and Texas Department of State Health Services, the predominant strain of flu reported by labs is influenza A (H1N1) though influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B are also circulating.

Shortly before New Years, NBC 5 reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 11 states were seeing widespread cases of the virus. While Texas was not on the list, DFW-area doctors NBC 5 spoke with were concerned due to the uptick in local cases.

Experts advise it is still not too late to get a flu vaccine.

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