Residents at Risk
The City of Garland is reporting its first pediatric influenza death of the season. The patient was an 8-year-old Garland resident who had high-risk health conditions and died after complications from the seasonal flu in December 2017, during a time when seasonal flu cases were soaring. This is the third flu-related death of the season for the Garland-Rowlett-Sachse area.
The first was a 78-year-old Rowlett resident with underlying high-risk health conditions and the second was a 78-year-old Garland resident who also had high-risk health conditions. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, Garland does not provide additional identifying information. According to the most recent regional influenza surveillance report (Week 10: March 4 to March 10, 2018), the influenza-like illness (ILI) percent decreased from last week at 4.5%.
Absences due to ILI accounted for 3.7% of all reported school absences this week. Although our region is below the Texas baseline and at the end of the flu season, Region 2/3 is still slightly above its historic baseline of 3.3%.
Simple actions can be taken to help prevent the spread of seasonal influenza. If you haven’t done it already, protect yourself with a flu vaccination. Cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your sleeve.
Wash your hands and keep your hands away from your face. Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or appear ill. Stay home if you are sick or keep family members home if they are sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for all persons aged 6 months and older, with rare exception. Individuals should discuss flu vaccine concerns with a health care provider. The flu vaccine DCHHS provides is an all-in-one shot that protects against multiple flu strains including the H1N1virus.
The adult and children’s flu vaccine is available at the Garland Public Health Immunization Clinic, 206 Carver Street, Garland Texas 75040. Clinic hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 972-205-3370.
Prevention & Control Measures
The Garland Health Department is working in conjunction with the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department and other agencies to provide surveillance, prevention, and control measures during the flu season. Citizens can take proactive steps to protect themselves, including:
- Avoid others who appear sick.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Frequently washing hands with soap and water.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose. This is a common transmission mode for flu.
- Using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.