Weatherford Democrat

January 8, 2014

Wise Co. man’s death believed flu-related

19 confirmed flu deaths reported in North Texas


Weatherford Democrat

— From Staff and Wire Reports

The death of a man in Wise County is thought to be flu-related, health officials there say.

The man, in his 40s, was being treated for respiratory problems when he died. Officials said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy but suspect his death is related to the flu, the Wise County Messenger reported, adding that the man reportedly had not received a flu shot.

So far in North Texas there have been 19 confirmed flu-related deaths, including 17 in Dallas County since late December and two in Denton County, where the county’s health department on Monday confirmed the deaths of one adult and a girl. Both people from the Carrollton area had underlying medical problems.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says medical providers are seeing an increase in flu across the state. Current vaccines are designed to protect against H1N1, commonly known as swine flu.

Child flu deaths must be reported to Texas health officials, but adult flu deaths are not tracked statewide.

Health officials say it is not too late to receive a flu shot. Parker County Health District officials say they have vaccine available for anyone ages 6 months and older. PCHD’s office is located at 1130 Pecan St. in Weatherford. Call 817-458-3254 for more information.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will conduct an immunization clinic next

Wednesday in Springtown at First Baptist Church’s New Life Center, 505 Avenue B, from 9 a.m.-noon.

However, the DSHS office that serves Palo Pinto and Parker counties this week said it is out of the vaccine for infants and toddlers ages 6-35 months and running low on other vaccine supplies.

Health officials offers these measures to help prevent the spread of flu at home and work:

• Stay home when you are sick and don’t return until you are well.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

• Wash your hands often.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.