By Brian New

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Big New Year’s events, local health officials warn, can be ideal places to catch the flu virus.

“It’s a buffet for the flu virus,” said Dr. Andy Clark, director of the Medical City Children’s Hospitals Urgent Care. “You’ve just made it prime condition for flu to really move from one person to another.“

Clark said he’s not suggesting healthy people not attend New Year’s parties but he said sick people should stay away.

“People who are sick need to take a little personal responsibility and not show up and cough all over everybody,” he said.

At the Legoland Discovery Center’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Grapevine, hand sanitizer dispenser were hanging from nearly every wall.

As simple as it sounds, health officials say hand-washing remains the most effective way to prevent the spreading of the flu virus.

At the BigDNYE event at Victory Park, concert-goer Ashley Thomas said she took extra vitamin C in hopes of staying healthy.

“I heard there is going to be a ridiculous number of people here,” she said.

The Dallas County Health Department has reported three flu-related deaths this season with at least two other cases pending.

The county’s health department is expected to release updated flu statistics on Friday.

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