Yesterday, we told you about the potential costs for a severe flu season. Now, on a more local level, Dallas County Health and Human Services warned the commissioners court that positive flu cases are up 330 percent compared to last year.
NBC 5 reports that Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS’ medical director, told the commissioners that the county recorded 758 positive cases the week of Nov. 28. During the same week last year, the total flu cases sat at 176. And in 2014, the 758 was more than double the 326 recorded the week of Nov. 22.
Overall, the county says 26.3 percent of tests returned positive. Nationally, that rate sits at 17 percent. Also concerning: H3N2 remains the dominant influenza strain throughout Dallas County. This is the strain that the Centers for Disease Control says varies about half the time from what’s in this year’s approved flu shot.
The CDC has even recommended that health departments suggest those with flu-like symptoms be treated with antiviral drugs, just in case.
So far, Dallas County says one person has died from the flu this year. Last year, three total died. Zachary Thompson, the health director, still advises residents to get a flu shot for their best shot at protecting themselves against the virus.