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Tue January 8, 2013
Possible Dallas County Flu Death As Cases Rise
Dallas County Health officials say they cannot confirm a flu death. Health Department director Zach Thompson says the Medical Examiner must determine cause of death, and that may take time. He says until then, the girl’s death cannot be attributed to flu.
A family in Pleasant Grove tells WFAA a six year old girl, diagnosed with the flu, died after being checked out at a local hospital and sent home with a prescription.
Thompson says he is concerned that students returning to class after the Christmas break may boost the flu’s momentum. He says they’ve been tracking student absenteeism and anecdotal reports of coughing and sneezing in the classroom.
“Schools got ready to take their break, we saw an uptick in absenteeism in some of the schools. We saw it across the board," Thompson reported to Dallas County Commissioners. "But, one of the things we found is that parents are sending their kids to school sick. We’re encouraging parents to make sure if their children are sick to keep them at home.”
Thompson says more than 200 people lined up for flu shots Monday at the county’s main clinic on Stemmons Expressway. He says a shipment of one thousand additional doses is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.
Tarrant County Health officials say their supply of vaccine is dwindling. They probably have enough to last the week.
Flu has hospitalized more than 250 people in Dallas County, and widespread flu activity is reported in most North Texas counties.