On Jan. 10 Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported the sixth flu-related death in Dallas County for the 2019-2020 season. The patient was 82 years of age and a resident of Dallas with pre-existing medical conditions. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.
“We have seen an early increase in flu activity in Dallas this season. While we cannot predict the severity or duration of the flu season from year to year, the best way to protect yourself and others is to get you flu vaccine,” said Dr. Philip Huang, DCHHS Director and Health Authority. “Getting the 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.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for all persons aged six months and older, with rare exception. Individuals should discuss flu vaccine concerns with their health care provider.
DCHHS recently announced free flu vaccines for adults and children at all DCHHS immunizations clinic locations which can be found at dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/immunization-hours.php.
DCHHS is also extending free flu vaccines to adults and children at Eastfield Community College, 3737 Motley Drive in Mesquite on Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.