The Flu in Dallas County is Killing About As Many People As It Usually Does

Categories: Healthcare

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Cybercobra
H1N1, wanted in the murder of 21 North Texans.
It's flu season, a fact you've probably noticed if you've experienced a bout of achy, feverish misery, or if you've seen the equally feverish news reports on the mounting death toll in North Texas, which reached 21 yesterday.

To put this all in context, we spoke with Dallas County Health Director Zach Thompson. Here are the key takeaways.

What's with all the deaths?
Twenty-one deaths (17 in Dallas County) seems like a lot, but it's about on par with previous flu seasons, which annually claim around 25,000 lives nationwide. The difference this go-round -- and the reason you're seeing so many death-tallying news reports -- is that this is the first year Dallas County has tracked adult flu deaths.

This, Thompson says, helps local public health officials get a better understanding of the scope and severity of the outbreak.

"Adult flu cases and deaths are not a reportable disease according to the CDC -- only pediatric deaths," he says. "This year, Dallas County has been working with hospitals, and they're doing a great job providing us information about flu death."

Anything else that's different about this year?
The strain. This winter has seen the return of H1N1, aka the swine flu virus that scared the hell out of everyone in 2009. Thompson says it's not significantly more or less virulent than the A and B strains that predominated last year, but it tends to attack young, healthy people rather than the young, elderly, and pregnant who are typically most vulnerable.

Compared with 2009, which the CDC classified as a pandemic, public health officials were relatively well prepared for the arrival of H1N1. Vaccines covering the predominant strain have been available since the beginning of flu season. Four years ago, it was well into flu season before the proper vaccine became available.

Should you get a vaccine?
Yes, but you should have done so back in October. It takes up to two weeks after a flu shot for a person to build immunity to the virus, meaning you'll remain vulnerable to infection at a time when the flu is already widespread.

Still, you shouldn't be discouraged by anecdotes like this one about people who get a flu shot but still get the flu.

Nor should healthy people think they are exempt. During a vaccine shortage in 2004-05, the "CDC had made a recommendation that healthy people do not need to get the flu shot, so healthy people have basically opted out," Thompson says. "We lost the momentum of people getting flu shots."

Thompson says the vaccine is about 99.9 percent effective, and it's better to get a shot late than not to get one at all.

When will it be safe to emerge from the sterile hole you've crawled in?
Officials are keeping a close eye on data as kids return to school and parents return to work after the holidays, but Thompson says the flu season is at its peak. He expects infections and deaths to begin tapering off, though he's not sure how quickly.

Last year, positive influenza tests had dropped significantly by mid-February, according to this CDC chart covering the multi-state region including Dallas.

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If you start experiencing flu-like symptoms, what should you do?
We didn't actually ask Thompson this question because we already knew the answer: STAY HOME.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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21 comments
roger190
roger190

After losing my cousin this week to H1N1, me and my entire family have been doing a lot of research on how to keep our family safe from contracting anything to do with influenza or the flu!!   You always see it on the news, but when it hits home... wow! you never expect it.We have been trying the standard things like washing our hands, but also wanted to find a way to make sure that that our houses are clean and germ free as well.  We did some research and just purchased this cleaning product called Saniguard from  http://erdistributing.com.  Has anyone ever used this product?  Everything we have read so far has been great, but we can't find any testimonials.  Any feed back would be great!  Thanks and  best wishes to everyone  and God bless Love you cuzz

AboutPediatrics
AboutPediatrics

"Yes, but you should have done so back in October. It takes up to two weeks after a flu shot for a person to build immunity to the virus, meaning you'll remain vulnerable to infection at a time when the flu is already widespread."

Yes, but flu season is far from peaking and even after it peaks, can continue until April or May. It is never too late to get a flu vaccine. Although it would be ideal to get a flu vaccine way before flu season starts, a flu vaccine now will still protect you for the rest of this year's flu season. 


And even if "The Flu in Dallas County is Killing About As Many People As It Usually Does," that is more than need to be, as flu vaccination rates are much lower than they should be. Get your flu vaccine.

mpato47
mpato47

Why do people who get the flu shot worry about being around those that did not get the flu shot?  If the flu shot protects them--they shouldn't have anything to be concerned about.


mpato47
mpato47

Read today that Hawaii is the only state to not have one flu case reported yet.  A thought occurs to me that that is probably the only state that they don't fly "chemtrails" over because its too small an area and too far out to sea--too costly.  One local newsreporter said that the number of flu cases is rising like the number of people getting the flu shot--I'm sure that was a slip of the tongue!   Hawaii--just think of all the travelers visiting there each day--so obviously, something else is causing this flu epidemic!  Just thinking out loud!


DavyCrockett
DavyCrockett

Give it a couple of months and we'll be getting hammered with West Nile stories. Then back to the flu overreaction, then back to West Nile, then...bah.


No need to even watch the news anymore.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

We give the vaccine away to poor people, make it dirt cheap for everybody else and still have these people now a danger to themselves and others because they did not feel the need to get the shot.  Mel Brooks' son, the author of World War Z, has a college tour where his warning is that in any calamity, zombies, asteroids, solar flares, plague, 50% of the megadeaths will not be a function of the original event or even deprivation caused by the event  They will occur because people, left to themselves, are too stupid to do common sense things and will shoot themselves (not others), stab themselves, break limbs in dumb accidents or have asinine collisions or not get vaccines that protect 99% of them. 

uberdeft
uberdeft

Its like the media of America doesn't know of H FIVE N 1 .. you need a much more comprehensive article here, so do the officials. Nice chart and 99.9% claims of effectiveness though.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@mpato47Because they worry about others who are not vaccinated getting the virus. Not all care only about themselves, mpato47.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@mpato47 Maybe the flu is caused by a lack of Pacific Islanders in the general population.  Has it ever occurred to you that Hawaii is the ONLY state that has a lot of Hawaiians in it?  Makes you think.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@mpato47Out loud, maybe. But it's hardly thinking.

mpato47
mpato47

@bmarvel@mpato47Any way you evaluate your statement, we all end up caring about ourselves in the end.  I worry about the side effects the vaccine will cause me, and they worry that the vaccine will not protect them should I get sick.  We all should care about the aluminum and mercury the flu vaccine contains and if it is causing autism and alzheimer's disease.  The old English hat makers were exposed to mercury and it caused them to develop "the mad hatters disease," so we definitely know that mercury destroys the brain.  Some of us, seek answers not lies--so why do we allow them to keep us in the dark as to what is in these shots?  Remaining uneducated about the vaccines ingredients and effects, just pits one side against the other needlessly.  I believe we all really do care about the health of this nation and it's time we demand the truth and not ill will toward another.

mpato47
mpato47

@dovellmark@mpato47I find nothing worth laughing about in a top military secret that refuses to disclose to the American people what it is they are actually spraying over our heads.  Are you one of those who don't believe chemtrails are real?  Have you taken the time to investigate the facts?  If so, will you still be LYAO?  Just like the vaccines, do you really know everything that is in that vaccine?  Would you willing inject aluminum and mercury in your body?  Are we not taking notice to the increased rates of autism and alzheimers, to ask for answers?  God help us when we don't care enough to find the causes!


notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@mpato47 @bmarvel Judging by your comments, your son isn't brain-damaged because of a vaccine, he's brain-damaged because it runs in your family.

mpato47
mpato47

@bmarvel@mpato47Studies will never change the facts.  As a mother, it is a fact that the immunizations affected one of my sons. My father got endocarditis (an infection surrounding the heart) after receiving a flu shot. Speaking of pets, read this article which proves the immunizations cause sarcoma, a malignant tumor that involves connective tissue cells, at the site of the vaccine injection: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/01/10/cat-vaccination.aspx?e_cid=20140110Z3_PetsNL_art_1&utm_source=petnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20140110Z3&et_cid=DM37234&et_rid=394193645

And one would have to have their head in the sand, like an ostrich, to have not heard about some of the horrific (but you call 'safe') side effects from the immunizations.  And on what mental level do you believe it is safe to inject mercury into your body?  So what is left to accept--we'll never really know the number of deaths the flu would cause with and the number without the shots.  You preach that they are safe, well, send me a list of their proven to be safe ingredients.  If you list mercury as being safe, I hope for your sake, they have a cure for alzheimer's disease.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@mpato47 Studies have shown conclusively no vaccine-autism link. But a few people keep pushing this myth. Numerous studies -- both NIH and independent -- have shown no vaccine-autism or vaccine-alzheimers link.

But I'm puzzled -- you're worried about something that is been shown to be safe, but not worried about catching and passing on something we know kills -- the flu. One of the strains currently prevalent seems to be targeting, not the old and very young, but folks in their prime.You don't see that as a problem, or a problem that has anything to do with you?

Is it the flu vaccine or vaccines generally? Is your dog vaccinated against rabies? Your children against measles and chicken pox? 

Study after study come out indicating these vaccines are safe, even potentially life-saving. And yet folks like yourself keep complaining that "they" -- whoever they are -- keep us in the dark and that we must demand the "facts."

The truth, mpato47, is that you will not accept any study or report that does not agree with what you've already made up your mind to believe. This is not just "one side against the other." It's a stubborn and willful ignorance of the best evidence for reasons, I guess, best known only to yourself.   

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@mpato47 @bmarvel you are a closed minded piece of shit.  Its ok for you to have an opinion but not bmarvel?  WTF kind of train of thought is that.  Oh yeah,  a whack jobs.

mpato47
mpato47

@bmarvel@mpato47Well, look who is into reading all about conspiracy theories!  If you weren't so narrow minded and argumentative,  you could actually be a very interesting person to converse with.  You come across as being a strong intellect--you just have this one little problem--I don't agree with you on this subject of flu vaccines.  And Thank God, it is my privilege and honor to think the way I believe to be true regardless of your opinions and thoughts.  Go to bed now, because I am done conversing with you.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@mpato47 Ah, now I understand where you're coming from, mpato47. 

Vaccines that cause alzheimers, mysterious "chemical trails" in the air. And you, and a tiny band of other True Believers, are the only ones who know the facts.

I suggest that if it wasn't the "truth" about vaccines and "chemtrails" it would be something else -- aliens at area 51, or vast government conspiracies involving the Masons or multiple shooters at Dealey Plaza.


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