Child Flu Deaths Highlight the Need for Immunization

News Release
News Release
December 13, 2019

News Release
Dec. 13, 2019

The Texas Department of StateHealth Services has confirmed that six children have died in Texas offlu-related causes since the flu season started at the end of September. Healthofficials recommend that everyone 6 months old and older get vaccinated now to preventflu and its potentially devastating effects. 

The children ranged in age from under one year to 16 years old. Theylived in four of Texas’ eight public health regions. Four of the children werenot vaccinated for the current season. Health officials are still gatheringinformation on the other deaths.

“We’re seeing high levels of fluactivity across Texas right now,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS Commissioner.“Young children are one of the groups known to be at high risk ofhospitalization or death from complications of the flu. Getting your flu shotis one of the best ways to protect them and everyone else in the community.”

The flu shot is especiallyimportant for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, youngchildren and older adults because they are at higher risk of developing seriouscomplications. Caregivers should get the flu shot to protect themselves and toprevent spreading the flu to the vulnerable people they care for in theirfamilies and communities.

Influenza is an illness caused byone of a number of related viruses. Symptoms usually start suddenly and includefever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches andextreme fatigue and can last a week or longer. It is important to note that notall flu sufferers will have a fever.

People can help stop the spread of illnessand reduce their chance of catching the flu by getting vaccinated, washinghands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if they’re sick.Additional flu information and tips are at

People can contact their healthcare provider, local health department, local pharmacy or use the VaccineFinder at TexasFlu.orgto find out where flu shots are available. 


(News Media Contact: Lara Anton, DSHS Press Officer, 512-776-7753)

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