Infant Flu Death Reported at Local Hospital

By  | 

Bell County (January 7, 2014) Bell County Public Health District officials confirmed Tuesday that they'd received a report of a flu-related death of an infant at a local hospital.

Lacy Sanders, the county's disease surveillance coordinator, said the infant was female and two weeks old.

Sanders said the infant died at McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White in Temple sometime last week.

Sanders said the baby was born health, went home and went back to the doctor and was admitted into the hospital for the illness.

The infant tested positive for H1N1. The same strain Sanders said has been the predominant strain this current flu season.

Health officials are still investigating if the infant was exposed to any other family members infected with the flu.

Infants are not able to get the flu vaccine until they are at least six months old.

Sanders warned the only way to prevent infants from getting sick is to keep them away from sick relatives and people and make sure everyone who will be around the baby has gotten a flu shot.

This is the second death in the area that has been reported to health officials as a flu-related death.

In late December Sanders confirmed that a Coryell County man said to be in his 60s died at the Temple Veteran's Administration Hospital of the flu.

The victim suffered from a compromised immune system, but Sanders could not elaborate on the condition.

It also was not known if the man had received a flu shot.

Flu numbers are reported to the CDC until May but usually the flu season peaks in February.

Current flu numbers for Bell County show close to 200 cases for the last week reported.

The Waco-Mclennan County Public Health District reported just over 400.

Health officials in Dallas and Denton counties have confirmed 19 flu-related deaths as medical experts urge people to get vaccinated.

Dallas County Health and Human Services confirms 17 adult flu deaths since late December.

Health officials say in particular that pregnant women, the elderly, and children should be vaccinated.

Sanders said the flu shot requires about two weeks for the body to build immunity against the illness and the flu mist requires about a week.