North Texas
8:13 pm
Tue October 27, 2009

New H1N1 Deaths: Preparation For First Vaccine Clinics

Dallas, TX –

Two more H1N1 flu-deaths are reported in North Texas as Tarrant and Dallas counties gear up for their first vaccine clinics. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Tarrant County officials are reporting a fifth death from H1N1 or swine flu: a woman in her 40's. No other information was immediately available. Dallas County now has 13 deaths attributed to H1N1. The latest is a 38 year old man with no underlying medical conditions.

Friday, Tarrant County Health officials will conduct their first H1N1 vaccine clinic at Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City. Free shots will be given to pregnant women and children six months to 18 years with chronic illnesses, such as asthma or diabetes.

Dallas County plans an H1N1 shot clinic next week. Details on dissemination of 12 thousand doses will be released this afternoon.

Dr. James Luby, infectious disease expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the number of emergency room "flu" visits have decreased - indicating a down-tick in H1N1 cases. But he says it won't last.

Luby: We could still have more cases occurring with the cold weather. I think everybody is saying that we will have another wave at the beginning of next year.

Dr. Luby says that's why it's important to get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible, especially for those in the high risk groups. Large shipments of the vaccine are not expected until the middle or end of November. But, Dr. Luby says that's not too late to get an H1N1 flu shot. He says history shows a pandemic flu, like H1N1, can overtake the "seasonal" flu period, which usually peaks in February.

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