CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header
WATCH: West Explosion Memorial Service At 7:30 PM | Click Here For Complete Coverage

Local

Fear Of Flu Leads Many To Get Vaccinated As Hospitalizations, Deaths Rise

View Comments
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
Read More

CBS DFW (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDFW.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSDFW.com/Health

From Our CBS Music Web Sites

kluvs super 70s weekend voting 1979 dl Fear Of Flu Leads Many To Get Vaccinated As Hospitalizations, Deaths RisePick The Best Song From 1979

115245513 8 Fear Of Flu Leads Many To Get Vaccinated As Hospitalizations, Deaths RiseCrush Of The Day: Mila Kunis

80219448 Fear Of Flu Leads Many To Get Vaccinated As Hospitalizations, Deaths RiseViral Video: Hilarious Southwest Safety Announcement

155742164 Fear Of Flu Leads Many To Get Vaccinated As Hospitalizations, Deaths RisePick Your Favorite Victoria Secret Model

Featured Items

Fantasy_tileHottest Olympians

pet_tileYour Pet Photos

weather_tileSend Us Your Weather Photos

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – At least 400 people lined up, some even before sunrise, at the Dallas County Health Department to get a flu shot.

Mother Gina Chacon and her two children were in the group. They went to get vaccinated before they went to school. “When I recently started seeing the news and started seeing people getting sick and dying, that’s when I thought that’s when we need to do something about this,” Chacon said.

Dallas County and other North Texas health departments are overrun with people — who are only now getting vaccinated for fear they’ll get the flu. The rush comes even though health officials have urged people to get their shot since last September.

Zachary Thompson, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services said, “Clearly, I think people underestimate the danger and severity of the flu, and it’s impact, and how deadly it is.”

♦  Click Here For The Latest Flu Coverage
  Flu Shot Locator
Flu Symptoms & Severity (CDC.gov)

On Friday, CBS 11 News learned 10 more people in North Texas have died from the flu. One person died in Denton County, raising the number of deaths there to three.

The other nine additional deaths were in Dallas County, bringing the total number of fatalities to 26 this season.

Tarrant County may have a second flu death, but that still has to be confirmed.

The number of people being hospitalized has jumped as well. In Dallas County last week, more than 175 people were being treated in the hospital for the virus.

JPS Hospital in Fort Worth says flu patients there seem sicker and are staying longer than in years past.

The primary flu bug this year is H1N1, which hit hard in 2009.

A nurse gives a girl a shot. (credit: George Frey/Getty Images)

A nurse gives a girl a shot. (credit: George Frey/Getty Images)

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. “What’s surprising is that since the virus has stuck around for four years, and has circulated around the world for four years, one would imagine there would have been a lot of immunity developed in the population, the virus would either change or fade away. That we have not seen.” Dr. Kahn says no one knows for sure why this is.

One factor Dr. Khan has found to be different is that this year more seemingly healthy children and young adults have been diagnosed with severe flu, instead of seniors who are typically more susceptible. “It could be that older people who’ve been around more, perhaps because they’ve been immunized more certainly because they’ve ben exposed and infected more have developed immunity, where younger people have not.”

Like other health workers across North Texas Dr. Khan is urging healthy people to get vaccinated.

Officials say the problem is many people still mistakenly believe the flu shot will give them the flu, which isn’t true. While people who get vaccinated may still be diagnosed with the flu, doctors say it will be a less severe case.

On Saturday, the Collin County Medical Reserve Corps will be giving free flu shots at 1890 Avenue K in Plano between noon and 4 p.m.

The Denton County Health Department has free flu shots at its two locations as well.

Follow Jack on Twitter:  @cbs11jack

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Top Trending:

View Comments