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Dallas Announces Third Flu-Related Death

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Dallas County Health and Human Services lab results confirm that an 11-year-old Dallas County resident who died last week was infected with the H1N1 influenza virus.

The child did not have any underlying medical conditions, but did have pneumonia and a bacterial infection. “While this death is unfortunate, deaths associated with influenza occur every season,” said Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Wendy Chung.

For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information. The death marks the county’s third H1N1-related death.

The county’s first H1N1-related death was reported Aug. 27. The case involved a 52-year-old female who had an underlying medical condition. The second H1N1 death was reported Sept. 4. That case involved a 37-year-old male who also had underlying medical conditions. Texas has had 4 confirmed H1N1 deaths in residents under the age of 18. In comparison, there were 11 pediatric flu deaths in Texas during the 2008-2009 flu season, not including flu deaths during the summer of 2009. Two pediatric flu deaths occurred in Dallas County last flu season.

“The best advice Dallas County Health and Human Services can give families is to check your children in the morning, or the night before if necessary, for any signs of illness,” DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson said. “Particularly, you should check your child for fever.”

Preventative measures listed below should be taken:

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• Get vaccinated when vaccines are available.

• Stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever has gone away without the use of fever-reducing medication.

• Use your elbow to shield your cough or sneeze.

• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

• Use hand sanitizer regularly.

• Wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Avoid contact with other sick people as much as possible.

• Seek medical attention early if you have flu-like illness and high-risk conditions.