Henderson's Methodist Hospital sets visitation restrictions due to flu

Toni Houston
December 30, 2017

The primary flu strain this year is influenza A (H3N2), which has been associated with higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths in persons 65 years and older and young children, officials stated.

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting the fourth and fifth flu-related deaths in Dallas County for the 2017-18 season.

The Public Health Department said in a statement it does not track exact numbers of cases, and county officials did not respond to a Tribune request for further comment by deadline. According to the department's website, previous year Lexington had 503 confirmed cases of flu, and seven flu-related deaths.

The goal is "to manage/screen an influx of walk-in flu patients today", the hospital said in a statement to KNSD Thursday.

Those who contact their doctor become part of the statistics of this flu season.

The IDPH recommendation is in response to state influenza activity level, which is now listed as "widespread". In past years, the flu shot has been least effective against A (H3N2) viruses compared to other A or B strain flu viruses. Eleven adults have died in our state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that nine pediatric flu deaths have been reported this season from other stats as of December 16.

"We still have a few more months ahead in this season".

The effectiveness of vaccines varies from year to year, but recent CDC studies show that vaccination reduces the risk of catching the illness by 40 to 60 percent when the circulating virus is matched closely to the vaccine virus.

Influenza s ymptoms tend to arise pretty suddenly, and can include: fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, chills/body aches, and headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.

Health experts recommend that vulnerable populations especially, including children, pregnant women, older residents and people with medical complications, get vaccinated.

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