Four more Dallas County residents have died from flu-related illnesses, bringing the total to 78 dead in one of the area's worst flu seasons in decades, Dallas County Health and Human Services announced Monday. Each of the victims, who ranged from 66-94 years old, had an underlying high-risk health condition that made him or her vulnerable to the flu, according to the county.
“Older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and infants are more vulnerable to flu illness,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS's medical director. “Flu season has not ended; therefore, individuals in these groups should continue to take precaution.”
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The pace of this year's flu seems to be slowing, however. So far in March, six people have died in Dallas County from flulike symptoms. In February, 19 Dallas County residents were killed by the flu. Nevertheless, DCHHS advises anyone with any hint of the flu to stay home from work or school.
“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,” DCHHS Interim Director Ganesh Shivamaiyer said. “If you have a high-risk condition, remember to keep a safe distance from individuals who have flulike symptoms.”
While flu season is now more than 5 months old, the county recommends that all county residents older than 6 months get a flu shot if they haven't done so already. Free vaccines are available for children and adults at four county clinics:
- Main DCHHS building, 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway
- John West Branch Immunization Clinic, 3312 N. Buckner Blvd., Suite 200
- Irving Branch Immunization Clinic, 440 S. Nursery Road, Irving
- Oak Cliff Branch Immunization Clinic, 1113 E. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 200