A Sanger-area child has become Denton County’s ninth flu-related death this season.
The child, age unknown, had underlying health conditions and officials do not believe she had been vaccinated, according to Denton County Health Director Bing Burton.
The deaths from flu this year in Denton County are the highest in at least the last five years, although cases have continued to dwindle in the last few weeks, Burton said.
“It is way down,” he said. “This individual may have been ill for weeks; I don’t know that. It’s not uncommon for a fatality to come late in the season that may have been sick for several weeks.”
Other flu-related deaths in Denton County this season include a 50-year-old Aubrey woman, a Sanger woman in her 40s, a Lewisville man in his 40s, a 30-year-old Denton woman, an 80-year-old Highland Village woman, a man in his 70s from Carrollton, a Denton woman in her 40s, and a 13-year-old girl from Carrollton.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said this year’s flu season has been particularly hard on younger- and middle-age adults. People age 18-64 made up 61 percent of the people hospitalized from flu, almost double the number in that age group in the previous three flu seasons.
The CDC also noted that the flu vaccine was particularly effective this year in reducing risk.
“Flu hospitalizations and deaths in younger- and middle-aged adults is a sad and difficult reminder that flu can be serious for anyone, not just the very young and old; and that every one should be vaccinated,” CDC director Tom Frieden said in a written statement last week.
The CDC said that flu activity is likely to continue for several more weeks.
People at high risk for complications from flu include pregnant women; people with asthma, diabetes or heart disease; people who are morbidly obese; and people older than 65 or children younger than 5 years, especially those younger than 2, according to the CDC.
CDC officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.