Dallas Named A Top City For Flu Cases: Study
DALLAS, TX — Picture it. You wake in the morning, and everything hurts. Your throat burns; your head throbs; your joints ache. There’s no denying it — you have the flu. First, you call out to work. Second, you call your doctor and make an appointment. But you probably aren’t the only one making those calls.
Flu season 2017 has brought with it a mighty influx of flu cases for the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. That ranking is represented in the Walgreens Flu Index, which named DFW the eighth most flu-ridden metro in the U.S.
The Flu Index, which is updated weekly, looks at retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat the flu. And prescriptions for antivirals like Tamiflu must be flying from Walgreens’ shelves across the state, as Texas was named the top state for flu activity.
The city with the most prescribed flu medications is Brownsville and its surrounding communities, followed by the golden triangle of Beaumont and Port Arthur areas. Third came Tyler-Longview; fourth, Corpus Christi; fifth, Houston; sixth, Little Rock, Arkansas; seventh, Waco-Temple-Bryan; eighth, Dallas-Fort Worth; ninth, San Antonio; and tenth, Fort Smith-Fayetteville, Arkansas.
For obvious reasons, Texas was ranked the the No. 1 state for flu activity the week of Christmas. Following Texas came Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming, North Carolina, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Idaho, respectively.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention backed up the data from Walgreens, identifying Texas as a state with "widespread" incidences of the flu.
The CDC encourages both pregnant women and all persons older than six months to get vaccinated for the flu. Other ways to prevent the flu are frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces touched by many people and staying away from people who are sick.
Dallas County Health and Human Services announced Thursday that 2017’s fourth and fifth flu-related deaths occurred in recent days. The patients, a 59-year-old Dallas resident and an 81-year-old Irving resident, both died from complications of the flu.
"Older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and infants are more vulnerable to flu illness. With influenza activity on the rise, individuals in these groups should take special precaution as we continue throughout the season," said Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County health authority/medical director.
The adult flu vaccine is given in the adult immunization clinic on the first floor at the DCHHS building located at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas. The children’s vaccine is available at all DCHHS immunization clinics.
Clinic hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments aren’t necessary. For more information call 214-819-2162.
Click to view the full Walgreens Flu Index, or CDC recommendations for avoiding the flu.
Getty file photo — With a temperature of 103.8, Asa Moore, 6, of Vivian, Louisiana is examined by John Messier, a physician’s assistant, at the North Caddo Surgical and Medical Center for symptoms of Influenza. The Walgreens Flu Index named Texas the top state for flu activity. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)