Need for Immunizations: flu-related child deaths on the rise

Wichita Co. encourages flu shots, even this late in flu season

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the yearly flu vaccination should be sought out soon after they become available, usually in October.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed that six children have died, just in Texas, of flu-related causes since the beginning of this year’s flu season.

The recent flu-related child death here in Wichita County was determined to be Influenza B, which is the dominant strain this flu season. Influenza B is covered by this year’s flu vaccine.

Getting vaccinated later can still be protective as long as we are still in flu season.

The Wichita County Public Health District recommends every person at least 6 months of age get the flu shot to protect not only themselves, but those who cannot be vaccinated, babies under 6 months or immuno-compromised people. This simple action reduces the chances that the flu will spread around your community.

Even though outbreaks can happen as early as October, the CDC says most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or towards the end of Winter.

Since it takes around two weeks after receiving a vaccination for the antibodies to develop to aid in protecting you against the virus, it’s best to get vaccinated early so you are protected before in starts spreading throughout the community.

For a look at more coverage on the flu, click on the links below:

Who Should Get Vaccinated

Three Actions To Fight The Flu

Other than vaccination, different safety measures can be taken to prevent catching the flu including:

  • Washing your hands often;
  • Covering sneezes and coughs;
  • Keeping hands away from the face;
  • Avoiding people who are ill with the flu;
  • Staying home if sick; and
  • Avoiding large groups of people.

If you or someone in your family need a flu vaccination, please see your regular healthcare provider, or you can visit the Wichita County Health District located at 1700 3rd St.

The Wichita County Health District’s Immunization Clinic hours are:

  • Monday through Thursday: 8:00am to 11:30am and 1:00pm to 4:30pm
  • Friday: 8:00am to 1:00pm
  • Late clinic is on Dec. 16 (This Monday) from 5:00pm to 6:30pm

The Health District’s Immunization Clinic can be reached at 940-761-6841.

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