Waco-McLennan County announces first flu-related death

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:06pm

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is reporting the first flu-related death in the 2013-2014 flu season.

The death occurred last week and involved a female in her sixties who succumbed to influenza type A.

Influenza or the flu is a serious disease caused by a virus that spreads from infected people to the nose or throat of others.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, and muscle aches.

Most people are ill with the flu for only a few days, but some get much sicker and may need to be hospitalized. The flu cuases thousands of deaths each year, mostly among the elderly.

The flu vaccine has been approved for everyone including children 6 months of age and older. Pregnant women can also receive the flu shot.

People who are at high risk for getting the flu should be vaccinated in October. High-risk individuals include:

  • People 65 years and older, with and without chronic health conditions
  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • Peope ages 2-64 years with chronic health conditions
  • Children 6 to 23 months
  • Pregnant women
  • Healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care
  • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children that are 6 months or younger

Types of chronic health conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Metabolic diseases like diabetes
  • Blood disorders like anemia
  • Neuromuscular disorders that can cause breathing problems
  • Weakened immune systems from cancer, cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS or steroid therapy

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