NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In an effort to combat the spread of the flu, school districts are urging parents to get their children a flu shot if they haven’t already, and to sanitize their children’s backpacks and send them off with hand sanitizer.

Dallas County Health and Human Services said in the week ended December 28, 2019, they had at least 16 positive flu tests in the county.

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During that same week, 130 people were admitted to the hospital.

In Fort Worth, emergency response company MedStar said they are also seeing an increase in flu-like illness.

Doctors say the best defense is for children to be vaccinated.

“Get the vaccine, it’s not too late for sure,” said Dr. Christopher Bettachi, Baylor University Medical Center Infectious Disease. “When have a lot of people together there is that higher risk.” 

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Dr. Phil Huang, the Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services said families should take everyday preventative actions like washing hands, sneezing into a tissue or their arm and keep children home if they are sick.

“It’s all these preventative measures that can predict how bad of a season we have here,” said Dr. Huang.

On Monday, Austin Elementary School in Coppell ISD had grief counselors visiting the classroom of a student who died during winter break.

Jaxon Campbell, 10, had the flu, but it’s not yet clear if that’s what caused his death.

Superintendent Brad Hunt released a letter to parents reading in part, “As we know, the flu is a serious health risk, and regardless of its possible connection with this tragedy, it is important for everyone to take appropriate precautions.  According to the (CDC), the first line of defense is getting the flu shot.”

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So far in Texas, there have been eight children to die due to the flu.