DALLAS –– The Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that three adults with influenza have died in December.
DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson said one flu death was reported in each of the first three weeks of this month. There are two cases pending final determinations from the medical examiner that flu was the primary cause of death.
Thompson would not confirm the age or gender of the victims.
Thompson says H1N1 continues to be the predominant strain of flu circulating in Texas and across the country.
At Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Dr. Matt Bush says he’s already seen an increase in visits from kids with the flu.
“In the last week our volume's gone up 33 percent over what it was in November,” he said.
Health departments are encouraging people to get a flu shot immediately if they haven’t already. They warn that after mingling with family over the holidays, and with children returning to school, there will likely be a large increase in infections over the coming weeks.
“Everyone has been visiting families on trips; they're going to come back, they're going to go to school, and if they don't get the flu shot, they're not going to have that immunity built up - that protective factor - so we'll see an increase in number of flu cases,” Thompson said.
In Dallas County, doctors admitted eight pregnant women to the hospital within the last two weeks, including two into the Intensive Care Unit.
“There are not enough people getting the flu shot in Dallas County,” Thompson said.
While he said there is currently plenty of vaccine available statewide, he worries demand will increase over the next two months.
Free Flu shots are still available in Dallas County for uninsured adults at the Department of Health and Human Services building at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas. For more information, click here.