Denton County Public Health reported Friday morning the third influenza-associated death, an adult, in Denton County for the 2017-2018 flu season.
There have also been at least three flu-related deaths in Tarrant County and 38 in Dallas County, according to Tarrant County Public Health and Dallas County Health and Human Services.
“First and foremost, flu season is not over. This fatality indicates that the flu remains a serious condition and highlights the need for further preventive action,” saidDr. Matt Richardson, Director of DCPH, in a prepared statement. “This sounds repetitive because it is repetitive: we still want people to get a flu shot, wash their hands, stay home if you are sick, and tell others to do the same.”
DCPH reminds residents that getting vaccinated is a community effort that not only protects yourself, but also those at highest risk for flu complications, including:
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
- Children younger than five
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- People living in long-term care facilities
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People with chronic health conditions
“We still anticipate several weeks of high influenza activity,” said Juan Rodriguez, DCPH Assistant Director and Chief Epidemiologist. “The flu vaccine still remains the most effective way of preventing the flu.”
DCPH recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu:
- Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu shot, and the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- Remember that antiviral medications are a second-line defense against the flu. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flu complications.
- Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. Cover your cough and sneeze, avoid people experiencing flu symptoms, stay home when you feel sick and wash your hands often. These steps will help prevent respiratory viruses, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus.
Weekly Denton County flu surveillance reports and additional information can be found here. Visit www.cdc.gov/flu for details about symptoms, treatment, and prevention, and search www.vaccinefinder.org to find the vaccine in your neighborhood.