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Eight Dead From H1N1 In Dallas County

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County confirmed Friday they have eight total deaths related to the H1N1 flu virus. Plus, nine more are being investigated by the medical examiners office, possibly related to flu complications.

Dallas County is the only one with confirmed deaths so far. But positive flu tests are on the rise in every other county, including Tarrant, Denton and Collin.

Health department leaders said North Texas is in full-blown flu season and things will get worse.

Margaret Martinez isn’t taking any chances with her grand children’s health. As the sole guardian of all five siblings, the single-parent can’t afford for any one of them to get sick.

“It was very important. I don’t want them getting sick. So, that’s why were here,” Martinez told CBS 11 News.

The Palacios sisters also stopped by Dallas County’s main clinic today. They go back to school next week and were okay with enduring a little pain to prevent something worse.

“You could get really sick. Get high fever. Maybe even die,” said Lilliana Palacios.

Patients of all ages waited in line this afternoon to get their flu shot at the clinic. Some had first hand knowledge of what the illness can do to people.

“My sister had the flu a few days ago,” said Danielle Jenkins. “So I’m kind of leery. I’m trying to get myself ready.”

Today, Dallas county’s health department got in 2000 more doses of the flu vaccines, anticipating the worst is yet to come.

“We know that the flu is deadly. Over 20,000 die America every year from flu complications. Right now we are seeing it in Texas and it’s impacting us,” Zachary Thompson, Dallas County’s Health Director added.

In Dallas County just this past week 60 people hospitalized with flu complications; 23 of them pregnant women.

The good news is there is no shortage of the vaccine yet. Thus, county leaders encourage going to a clinic if you are uninsured or a private doctor’s office or a pharmacy is you are covered.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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