Three Harris County deaths related to H1N1

The young, elderly and expectant mothers are most at risk, but these deaths were none of those
December 20, 2013 9:33:00 PM PST
We have a health alert regarding flu season. Harris County authorities confirm three men have died from H1N1. And now the Texas Department of Health has issued a state-wide alert.

At Urgent Care for Kids, the flu season is in full swing. Most of the patients coming in are testing positive for influenza A. Almost every one wasn't vaccinated.

"The most concerning thing, especially if they are very young, is that they may develop complications from the flu," said Sharifa Glass, MD.

According to the state health department, most influenza A cases are H1N1, known as the swine flu.

"There is mostly H1N1 influenza that's going around," said Rita Obey with the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services.

The virus is widespread in Texas. On Friday, Harris County health officials confirmed 3 H1N1 deaths from November 28 to December 9.

"It's impacting persons that we would consider to be middle aged, so that's different," said Obey.

It's usually the very young or the elderly who are at risk. But the recent victims are all males, ages 45, 50 and 53 years old. Two of them had underlying health conditions, including obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

"We're seeing the flu season robustly hit here in Houston," said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

During a quick stop in Houston, Sebelius urged Houstonians to get a vaccine. And said the CDC is working with Texas health officials to keep H1N1 from spreading.

"The vast majority of the people who become ill with influenza get better," said Obey.

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