NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Flu cases are on the rise in North Texas, and the worst is yet to come.
Doctors in DFW are urging everyone who hasn’t been, to get vaccinated — now.
Geoffrey Lowe, an emergency room physician at Children’s Health in Dallas, said it does cause concern when there are high numbers of flu cases earlier in the season.
“All the more important that people get vaccinated, that they exercise good hand hygiene, covering their cough and trying to minimize their exposure as much as possible,” Dr. Lowe said.
Dr. Lowe, also an assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical School, said if one does get sick: an emergency room visit may not be the best response.
“The longer that they are waiting in the waiting room, it’s increasing your exposure to viruses like the flu,” he said. “If they are well-appearing, children are still eating and drinking fine, or low grade fever… great time to call your regular doctor.”
However, Dr. Lowe said an emergency room visit is warranted when a child has difficulty breathing, very rapid or fast breathing and signs of dehydration.
So far, four Texas children have died of flu complications this season, including one in Tarrant County. According to state health officials at least two of the deaths — an infant and a two year old — were not vaccinated. An adult from Dallas County has also reportedly died from the flu.
The flu season typically peaks in January and February, Dr. Lowe said.
“It’s never too late to get the flu vaccine,” he said. “So getting it now will protect you.”