A 12-year-old Houston girl died of flu-related causes, this year's first pediatric death in Houston and the other in the region.
The girl was ill for most of February and admitted to the hospital before embarking on the disease at the end of the month, said health workers in Houston. She had already existing conditions and suffered from several organ failures, they said.
"It is always tragic for us when a child in the area dies of flu," said Porfirio Villarreal, spokesman for the Houston Health Department. "It is important that families get the flu shot, especially when there are vulnerable patients among them."
Another case: Young girl dies of flu in Galveston County
Death, the state's seventh this season, involving a child, was reported to the Texas Department of Health earlier this week. It was included in reports from the city and state flu on Friday.
The first pediatric death in the region this year, a 6-year-old girl, was reported in March by health officials in Galveston County. She died on February 5, just three days after developing symptoms while being treated at a hospital for an existing disease.
The other pediatric deaths of the season included three in North Texas, one in Central Texas and one in the Rio Grande Valley. The first took place in October, and the next four were in January.
Still, the number of pediatric deaths in Texas is down from last season when the flu killed 1
But the flu season shows no sign of going away in Houston and Texas. The state's latest influenza report classifies the activity level so high, and Houston continued to hold 2,300 influenza-related visits to hospitals last week. It is slightly lower than in the previous season, but more than usual at the end of the season, which typically runs from November to early March.
"We are still dealing with the flu out there and may be for a few weeks," said Villarreal.
Dr. Michael Chang, a pediatric infectious nurse at the children's memorial Hermann, said he doubts "we see another increase ahead. "He noted that although" we may have a longer flu season than the last few years ", there are fewer hospital admissions and fewer positive tests.
Houston health officials said they do not yet know if the girl who The girl in Galveston County did not have, said health professionals. The Houston girl tested positive for Influenza B, Galveston County Girl for Influenza A.
Health officials stress that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine This year is considered a good match, which reduces the risk of disease by about 47 percent. Last year's vaccine reduced the risk by 36 percent.
Any 6 months or older can If the 9 or younger children receive the vaccine for the first time, they need two doses according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Influenza-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or nose nose, headache, chills and fatigue.
NEWS WHEN YOU NEED IT: Text CHRON to 77453 to receive new news alerts via sms | Sign up to break news alert sent to your email here.