AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Texas Department of State Health Services reported the first child death of this year’s flu season earlier this week.
According to Dr. Stephen Tidewell, the flu is a viral illness with two strains, Influenza A and Influenza B.
“It’s a virus that typically affects the respiratory system. People get chills and fevers and body aches and frequent cough and it makes you feel pretty bad,” Dr. Tidwell, an emergency room physician, stated.
However, some people may experience severe symptoms depending on their age and medical history.
“It does tend to hit the elderly population and children a little bit harder people that also have an underlying lung disease like asthma the flu can also affect them a little bit harder too,” Dr. Tidwell, explained.
For people with these illnesses, physicians encourage them to get the flu shot.
Though it does not guarantee you won’t get the flu, it can help in lessening the symptoms and in some cases possibly save a life.
“Deaths can occur from the flu and it does tend to happen more in elderly patients and patients that have underlying lung disease however complications from the flu are things like pneumonia and so even young healthy people if they get the flu can end up really sick,” Dr. Tidwell, stated.
Area doctors said the flu shot and predictions of what strain will be going around is more of a guessing game.
Only time will tell if this year’s vaccine hit or missed the mark.
“I don’t think we know yet, only time will tell,” Dr. Tidwell said.
Physicians state that it is important that people practice good hygiene to keep from getting and spreading the flu.
This includes washing your hands often, and being cautious and aware of surfaces you touch.