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Flu blamed for baby boy's death in northwest Harris County

This is the first pediatric flu-related death in the Houston area since the season began in October.

HOUSTON — A baby boy in northwest Harris County has died from the flu, becoming the first pediatric flu-related death in the Houston area this season. 

The boy was less than one-year-old and had underlying health conditions, according to Harris County Public Health

"This is a somber reminder of the danger flu poses to our residents, especially those who are more vulnerable to develop serious flu complications,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health. “We urge residents to get a flu shot and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

According to information provided last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 19 pediatric flu-related deaths across the country during this current flu season.

The CDC recommends anyone over six months of age should get a flu vaccine every year.

"Here you have influenza, flu, it's one you see every year. We talk about it every year. We talk about the importance of vaccination every year. Yet we still have a significant portion of our country where people don’t always get vaccinated," Dr. Shah said.

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Harris County residents who have not had a flu shot are encouraged to get one as soon as possible as flu vaccine remains available throughout our community. The flu can last through May.

Getting vaccinated is especially important for the following groups:

  • Anyone with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung disease;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Young children over the age of six months;
  • Anyone 65 years of age and older; and/or,
  • Anyone who lives with or cares for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications and/or lives with a child under 6 months of age.

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Flu symptoms include the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills; (It is important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.)
  • Cough;
  • Sore throat;
  • Runny or stuffy nose;
  • Muscle or body aches;
  • Headaches;
  • Fatigue (very tired); and/or,
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

People who have flu-like symptoms (especially if they are serious) should contact their healthcare provider for further advice. In order to avoid making others sick, stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after not showing symptoms.

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