By Brian New

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Five times as many flu cases were reported to the Denton County Health Department this week compared to two weeks ago and nearly every case is the H1N1 strain.

Local health officials said the H1N1 strain is affecting young and middle aged adults more than the typical seasonal flu.

Denton County Epidemiologist Juan Rodriguez said the symptoms are more intense and the duration of the virus is longer.

“More hospitalization, more cost — the hospitals are more packed and those people may have trouble recovering quickly,” he said.

H1N1 Virus 1

On Thursday Silvia Philips, a healthy middle aged adult, decided to get a flu shot after hearing about several of her friends suffering for more than a week with the flu.

“I usually don’t get one. I just take the gamble,” she said.

Rodriguez said most health officials did not anticipate H1N1 to be the predominate strain this year. He said it is fortunate, after some consideration of not including it, the flu vaccine this year covers the H1N1 strain.

In Denton County cases have already surpassed last year’s numbers and it’s too early to know if this is the peak of the season.

Last year flu cases in the county began to decrease in early January.

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