Dallas County reports fourth, fifth flu-related deaths of 2017-18

Frederick Owens
December 30, 2017

Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego County set up a surge tent outside its emergency room entrance to triage patients with flu symptoms, according to a KNSD report.

On Dec. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory regarding the increased prevalence of Influenza A (H3N2) along with prevention and treatment recommendations.

Five people this season, all adults, and two aged 81 and 98, died of seasonal flu complications in Dallas County, Texas, the county's health services office said on Thursday. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults 65 or older, followed by adults between 50 and 64 and then children up to 4 years old. But it's hard to track exact numbers because only a certain percentage of people with flu symptoms go the hospital for testing.

A media release from the ADPH reminds the public that the flu is a very contagious respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

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Have you been hit by the flu?

That diagnosis is important because the anti-viral medications available should be taken with 48 hours of you coming down with the flu, though there's some evidence they're a good idea even after that deadline, especially for those in a high risk group. This year they're suggesting prescription antiviral drugs like oseltamivir (the pill is perhaps known better by its brand name, Tamiflu.) Other options include an inhaled antiviral called zanamivir and the injection peramivir.

The Department of Health is officially categorizing the flu as geographically widespread.

Though it's still too early to say whether this winter will be a bad flu season, epidemiologists in 36 states - including NY - have already reported "widespread influenza activity", according to data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. Out of the blue, you feel exhausted, your muscles ache and your forehead feels hot. "Carry a little pocket one with you".

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