13 influenza-related deaths reported in North Carolina, 9 in Texas

Jan. 4, 2014 at 11:45 PM
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Thirteen influenza-related deaths have been reported in North Carolina and nine deaths in the Dallas area this flu season, state health officials say.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said there were five new flu deaths, bringing the total number in the state this season to 13, reported WFMY-TV in Winston-Salem, N.C.

North Carolina health officials said the flu was killing middle-age to young adults. Twelve-of-the-13 people who died from the flu in North Carolina were adults under the age of 65.

During any flu season, nationwide influenza-associated deaths range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says.

It's estimated 90 percent of seasonal flu-related U.S. deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations each year occur in people age 65 and older, the CDC says.

Influenza hit Texas early this flu season, and from Sept. 23 to Dec. 28, there were nine deaths in Dallas County in which the patients tested positive for the flu, WFAA-TV in Dallas reported.

Type A influenza is the most predominant strain in North Texas and nationwide. H1N1, also known as swine flu, is the most common Type A circulating.

"Rarely we'll see someone who tests positive for both -- Type A and B," Dr. Martin Jones, regional medical director for CareNow, told WFAA News.

"And yes, we do see people who have tested positive for the flu and had the flu shot. The good news is those people tend to have less symptoms than those who did not have the flu shot. So, there's still a great benefit of getting the flu shot."

In Texas, some clinics said they were running low on vaccine and those looking for a flu shot should call in advance.

Topics: H1N1
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