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Texas: Regular Flu season toll reaches 6 for children

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  • Texas: Regular Flu season toll reaches 6 for children
    Feb. 28, 2007, 4:09AM
    Flu season death toll reaches six for Texas children

    2007 The Associated Press

    SAN ANTONIO The death of a San Antonio girl hospitalized with the flu pushes to six the number of Texas children to die from flu-related causes this season, health officials said.

    "This is one of the latest flu seasons I've seen, and it's still going strong," said Roger Sanchez, an epidemiologist with the Metropolitan Health District in San Antonio. "It's still affecting young adults and school-age kids."

    Officials said the 11-year-old San Antonio girl, who died over the weekend, had some underlying health problems, but they wouldn't release details on her condition or her identity.

    Her death follows that of a 16-year-old Williamson County girl who died two weeks ago after coming down with the flu. She had no other serious health problems, officials said.

    Dr. Pedro Piedra, of the Influenza Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said most flu cases this season have been the A/H1N1 strain. The strain is generally associated with milder flu seasons because it results in fewer deaths of elderly adults.

    "What one forgets is that children are always susceptible to flu, and that's because they have not had the same prior experience with multiple episodes of influenza infection," Piedra said.

    People 24 and younger made up nearly three-quarters of the flu cases reported to the state through a sampling of clinics during the week ending Feb. 17, the most recent data available, officials said.

    Neal Pascoe, of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said Texas has experienced "a later-than-expected onset" of flu season and it's not clear if the season has peaked. Flu typically peaks in January or February, but it can happen in March, he said...

    Health officials said it's still beneficial to get a flu shot to ward off the sickness.


    Information from: San Antonio Express-News,