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Denton County confirms season's first flu deaths

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The Denton County Health Department on Monday reported the first two influenza-related deaths for the 2013-2014 flu season.

Influenza claimed the life of a female pediatric patient with underlying health conditions who had not received flu vaccine for the season, according to health officials.

The second patient was a male in his 70s, with underlying health conditions; his vaccination status is unknown. Both patients lived in Carrollton.

Health officials reported 265 cases of influenza for the week of Dec. 28, the highest weekly count so far this season.

The dominant strain is H1N1, otherwise known as swine flu. Swine flu is more likely to hit young adults and children than people over 65.

“We have received reports of increased flu activity recently, and anticipate high activity for the next several weeks,” says Juan Rodriguez, Denton County Health Department Chief Epidemiologist.

All unvaccinated residents are strongly encouraged to get immunized for the flu immediately.

“It’s not too late to get a flu shot,” said Bing Burton, Denton County Health Department (DCHD) Director. “Getting vaccinated means you can will help protect yourself from the flu, as well as help protect the health of the community. And the good news is that this year’s vaccine appears to be a good match to the circulating strains.”

Free flu vaccines are still available at both locations of DCHD. The Lewisville DCHD is located at 190 N. Valley Pkwy. St. 203 in Lewisville and the Denton DCHD location is at S. Loop 288 in Denton.

Visit DCHD’s Immunizations website (www.dentoncounty.com/immunizations) for more information.

Visit the U.S. Health and Human Services flu website (www.flu.gov), or the CDC flu website (www.cdc.gov/flu) for details about flu symptoms, treatment, prevention tips, vaccination, and other flu topics.

You can also get updates though Twitter from both agencies by following @CDCFlu or @FluGov.

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