Dallas County reports five more flu-related deaths, total now 23

Brian Swartz | BDN
  Brian Swartz | BDN  A pharmacist prepares to inject a patient with a flu shot at the Brewer Walgreens in 2013

Brian Swartz | BDN Brian Swartz | BDN A pharmacist prepares to inject a patient with a flu shot at the Brewer Walgreens in 2013

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.

In all, 42 people have died so far this flu season in California, health officials reported, and all were those under the age of 65.

The average age of the victims was 85, and lived across all regions of the state.

Chen also says if the symptoms are severe, a person might try a trip to urgent care before the emergency room because it could be faster.

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Once again seniors, children and those with compromised immune systems were the most vulnerable to the flu.

Numerous confirmed flu cases involve a strain known as H3N2, which health officials warn doesn't respond well to flu vaccinations, though they still encourage people to get flu shots. During that same period in 2016, there were 87 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

Sounds of sniffling and coughing can be heard across Texas with what could be the worst flu season in the past few years. "So many times I hear the comment 'I got the flu shot but I still got the flu.' It may be true but unless we test you for that, most likely you did come down with some other illness".

Local media outlets report Carmel Christian School in Matthews canceled classes Thursday and Friday after reports of a flu-like outbreak which has affected more than 160 students.

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The Influenza A strain is seemingly dominating this season, which includes H1N1 and H3N2. Werker noted the criticism about the effectiveness of this year's flu shot.

Jernigan said this flu season looks a lot like the seasons in 2012-13 and 2014-15, both of which saw the H3N2 strain of the virus as the predominant type of infection.

If flu symptoms start, call your health care provider right away - especially if you are at high risk of complications and serious disease.

The advice from Werker, Shahab and others is to stay home when you're sick, cough into your sleeve and always wash your hands. More than 300 have already been hospitalized throughout the state, this according to GDPH.

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