Grayson County confirms first flu-related death of the season - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Grayson County confirms first flu-related death of the season

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GRAYSON COUNTY – The Grayson County Health Department has confirmed the county's first flu-related death of the season.

It happened at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital-WNJ on January 6.

The health department says the person who died was a 73-year-old man from Whitesboro.

He reportedly had multiple underlying health problems and was admitted to the hospital for respiratory failure. He was diagnosed with the Type-A flu strain and pneumonia. His flu vaccine status is unknown.

"He was only here a few days," Barbara Moody said. Moody is the infection prevention specialist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

In addition to Grayson County's first flu-related death, more hospitalizations from the flu are also being reported.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital says its reported more than 140 Type-A flu cases overall this season. 

Texoma Medical Center says it's reported an additional 96 cases, 94 of which are Type-A, and presumed to be H1N1, the predominant strain of the flu this year.

TMC Emergency Physician Greg Hansen says the hospital isn't seeing a higher volume of flu patients this year than in the past.

"High fever, body aches. In this year's strain, we've even seen a little bit of nausea and even some vomiting," Hansen said.

Moody says symptoms from the Type-A strain are more severe that Type-B. She says visiting a doctor as soon as symptoms set in is important.

"Adults don't usually run a fever of 102 but if you get treated within a couple of days the Tamiflu is effective. So it's important to get treatment started when you suspect it," Moody said. "The symptoms are so dramatic. You're well one minute and you're been hit by a truck the next minute."

It's not required by law, but the health department says it relies heavily on hospitals, clinics and schools to report flu cases so that it can get an accurate count. But, because not all those make reports, the amount of flu cases in Grayson County is likely higher than the numbers reflect.

New flu numbers were also released this morning for the state of Oklahoma.

One hundred twenty-two new cases were reported during the past week.

There have been 399 since September 29, 2013, which have resulted in twelve deaths statewide.

The nearest death to southeast Oklahoma is in Pittsburg County.

We checked with several health departments in Texoma. All say they have plenty of flu shots and a new flu mist on hand, and that it is still not too late to get vaccinated.

Amanda Ortez with the Grayson County Health Department says it has received 600 additional flu vaccines.