Flu patients leave Texas hospitals strapped

Of the more than 100 people who have died from the flu so far this season, 13 are children.

"You may be in contact with someone who has a lower immune system and you can pass it along to that person", Yee said.

Officials said all of the dead were Dallas residents with "high risk health conditions" with ages ranging from 38 to 94.

This particular type of H3N2 has infected more people earlier, and spread faster, than in years past.

The Scott County Health Department does not give flu shots to the general public. The city of Roanoake is aiming to get everyone vaccinated, by offering the shot for free at their fire station.

The prevalent strain circulating the state is classified as influenza A (H3N2), and is associated with more severe cases requiring hospitalization and death among seniors and young children than other strains. The first small number of confirmed flu cases was in mid-October, according to HISD.

County officials stressed that sadly people die from the flu every year, but said people should take precautions.

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"We're definitely seeing a lot more cases of flu and definitely more than past year", said Lyndy Stone, marketing director for Shannon Medical Center.

"Those other things on top of the influenza outbreak have really contributed to a surge in the number of patients being seen in the emergency rooms", Mitchell said Wednesday. More than 11,000 people have developed the flu this season as of January 6 and about a third of those people have been hospitalized.

HISD reported 16 students with flu-like symptoms this year, but only one has been confirmed as the flu. A recent study out of Australia, which recently wrapped up its flu season, showed that a similar vaccine wasn't all that useful there.

The entire last flu season, there were 173 cases, compared to this season, in just the first three months, there have been 130.

While this year's vaccine is less effective, experts say you should still get it.

As some experts project Texas has reached the peak of flu season, local schools and day cares are doing everything possible to make sure those they take care of are not spreading germs. "It has been concerning across the country", Ledford said of the flu season. I urge people to get the vaccine if they have not already had it.

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