Harris County Public Health Confirms Flu-Related Pediatric Death

Residents Encouraged to Protect Themselves from the Flu

Style Magazine Newswire | 2/19/2018, 11:39 a.m.
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is confirming a flu-related death of a child in Harris County. This is the first ...

Harris County, TX - Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is confirming a flu-related death of a child in Harris County. This is the first pediatric death in Harris County this flu season (starting October 1, 2017). Due to confidentiality issues and out of respect for the privacy of the family during this difficult time, no further information on the child will be released.

According to information provided last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 84 pediatric flu-related deaths across the country during this challenging flu season. Additionally, per the CDC, this year’s vaccine offers good protection for children over six months to eight years of age.

Since flu season can last as late as May, HCPH reminds individuals to remain diligent in protecting themselves and their families against the flu. Harris County residents who haven’t had a flu shot are encouraged to get one as soon as possible as flu vaccine remains available throughout our community.

“This death is a somber reminder of the danger flu poses to our residents, especially those who are more vulnerable to develop serious flu complications” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health “Obtaining a flu shot and taking other preventive measures are your best lines of defense against the flu.”

Getting vaccinated is especially important for the following groups:

Anyone with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung disease;

Pregnant women;

Young children over the age of six months;

Anyone 65 years of age and older; and/or,

Anyone who lives with or cares for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications.

Flu symptoms include the following signs and symptoms:

Fever* or feeling feverish/chills;


Sore throat;

Runny or stuffy nose;

Muscle or body aches;


Fatigue (very tired); and/or,

Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Persons who have flu-like symptoms (especially if they are serious) are asked to contact their healthcare provider for further advice and stay home from school or work for at least 24 hours in order to avoid making others sick.

HCPH has a number of flu-related resources on its website - please visit hcphtx.org.

HCPH reminds others that flu is not a reportable disease to health departments. HCPH monitors flu activity mainly from lab reports, emergency room visits due to influenza- like illness, and school absenteeism data. However, children’s flu deaths must be reported to local health authorities.