Dallas County reports 7 flu-related deaths, total of 38 this season

Dallas County reported seven more flu-related deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 38 so far this season.

The patients range in age from 51 to 89 and lived in Cedar Hill, Dallas, DeSoto, Garland and Rowlett.

Health officials aid all seven patients had high-risk health conditions and died after complications from this season's flu.

"Older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and infants are more vulnerable to flu illness," said Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County Health and Human Services. "With influenza activity on the rise, individuals in these groups should take special precaution as we continue throughout the season."

Some of the risk factors are more common than people think. Doctors say there's evidence that shows people in the high-risk categories should consider getting re-vaccinated this time of year.

“There are some obvious things like patients who have chronic lung disease, COPD, emphysema, chronic heart disease and heart failure,” explained Dr. Gary Weinstein with Texas Health Dallas. “And then there are things that aren't so obvious like being overweight with a BMI greater than 40. Having diabetes and being over 65 can be a risk factor.”

Weinstein says those with underlying health conditions should get a second flu shot.

“The immunity and the protection from the vaccine — even though it technically lasts about 6 months — it begins to fall in the 4 months or so range,” he explained. “So if you got it early and are elderly or have risk factors, there are some who would recommend getting a repeat vaccine.”

Tarrant County has reported three deaths so far this season while Denton County has reported two.