Five more Dallas County people have died from flu-related illness, bringing the total to 23 dead in one of the area's worst flu seasons in decades, Dallas County Health and Human Services said Wednesday. Each of the victims, who ranged from 38 to 94 years old, had an underlying high-risk health condition that made him or her vulnerable to the flu, according to the county.
Wednesday's announcement came after seven people died from the flu Tuesday, according to the county. Health officials are urging anyone with any sign of flu symptoms to stay home so they don't put others at risk.
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“All indications show that we are in the midst of the most intense weeks of flu season,” DCHHS Interim Director Ganesh Shivamaiyer said in a press release. “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.”
Those in high-risk groups, including older adults, pregnant women and children, should be especially cautious in the midst of Dallas County's deadly outbreak, said Dr. Christopher Perkins, the county's medical director.
“With influenza activity on the rise, individuals in these groups should take special precaution as we continue throughout the season,” he said.
While flu season is three months in, the county recommends that all county residents older than 6 months get a flu shot if they haven't done so already. The adult flu vaccine is available on the first floor of the DCHHS building on Stemmons Freeway. The children's vaccine is available at all of DCHHS' immunization clinics.