Second Flu-Related Death of 2017-2018 Season Reported to GCHD
GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas – The flu-related death of a 48-year-old Galveston County woman is the second reported to the Galveston County Health District during the 2017-2018 flu season. The woman, who died in late January, had pre-existing health conditions.
The first flu-related death reported to GCHD this season was a 61-year old female with pre-existing health conditions who died in mid-January. These are the first flu-related deaths of Galveston County residents reported to GCHD since a child died from flu complications in 2014.
Flu is a contributing factor in the deaths of thousands of adults -- primarily elderly -- each year across the state. Since adult flu-related deaths are not required to be reported to local health departments, there are likely other cases this season where flu was a contributing factor.
People 6-months and older should be vaccinated for the flu. Those 65 and older, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious complications or even death if they get the flu.
So far this flu season, 4,370 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported to GCHD, compared to just 704 during the same period last year. The trend in Galveston County is consistent with widespread flu activity across the country.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. People with a combination of these symptoms should promptly see their medical provider.
In addition to vaccination, people should help stop the spread of the flu and other illness by covering all coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and staying at home when sick.
While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another. Flu outbreaks typically happen as early as October and can last as late as May.
GCHD continues to offer no-cost flu vaccine at its Texas City immunization clinic and several off-site locations, while supplies last. Information is available at www.gchd.org/flu.