Texas confirms first influenza death is local child

File photo: flu vaccine

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Texas confirmed its first influenza pediatric death was a child from Laredo.

The 5-year-old child did not receive the 2019-2020 influenza vaccine and was not protected. This year’s influenza season, as every past season, began October 1st. The City started vaccinating in September and encourage everyone to get vaccinated with their doctor, pharmacy, or at the City of Laredo Health Department.

Influenza (Flu) activity continues to be prevalent and is currently at an average level when compared to last year’s flu season (2018-2019). Over a thousand influenza like illness symptoms and 68 confirmed cases have been reported by physicians, hospitals, and schools during the current influenza season (2019-2020).

However, based on reports from the Health Department’s influenza surveillance program, they never stopped seeing influenza activity throughout 2019 and are preparing for a strong flu season.

For more than 50 years, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received seasonal influenza vaccine. As in every year, the City of Laredo Health Department encourages everyone to get vaccinated as it is the best protective measure and one less respiratory infection to worry about during our cold and flu season.

The City of Laredo Health Department released the following information regarding influenza:

“High risk & most vulnerable community (although we recommend everyone to get vaccinated)
• Children, especially those 6 months to 5 years of age
• Adults with underlying health conditions; such as heart and lung disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, anyone with a disability and the immunocompromised.
• Pregnant women
• Elderly population

For best protection please consider:
• Cover your mouth when coughing, and cough into your elbow, use sneeze etiquette
• Wash your hands frequently and use disposable tissues
• Stay home if you are sick. If you have more than 100-degree fever, cough, and extreme muscle aches; call your doctor, especially if you are in the groups mentioned above
• Do not self-medicate, always go to your doctor.”

The City of Laredo Health Department Immunization Program can be located at 2600 Cedar Avenue and is open from Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The cost is $25.00 for adults.

For information about influenza vaccinations call the Immunization Program at (956) 795-4906, for the most current updates on Flu activity to the Epidemiology Division at (956) 795-4951.