The Houston Health Department confirmed a boy between 6 to 10 years old is the city’s first flu-associated death this flu season. The child died in early February and had pre-existing health conditions. The city health department advises people 6 months and older to get vaccinated. People who are 65 and older, pregnant, a young child or have chronic health conditions also at higher risk for serious complications or death if they get the flu.
Public health officials report flu activity remains high and widespread in Texas and across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 84 pediatric flu-related deaths nationally this flu season.
In addition to flu vaccinations, the Houston Health Department recommends washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if sick and until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone, except to see the doctor and get medical care.
Flu shots are available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, local health departments and at many grocery stores. The Houston Health Department has flu shots at its health centers for people in high risk groups for free to $15.
For more information, call 832-393-5427 or 311 or visit http://www.houstonhealth.org
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. If you have a combination of these symptons, the Houston Health Department advises to promptly see a medical doctor or medical provider.
Flu outbreaks happen as early as October and can last as late as May.