Is The Flu In Dallas? Texas Has Been Hit Especially Hard This Season

Ad failed to load

As you're probably more aware than you'd like to be at this point, this year is turning out to be a particularly bad one for the flu. And while no state has been spared from the deadly outbreak (except possibly Hawaii), some parts of the country have seemingly been hit harder than others — and Texas is one of them. So are you in danger of the flu in Dallas, Texas? As one of the state's major cities, there must be a high concentration of germs floating around, right?

Apparently, the answer would appear to be yes — the flu is a real danger in Dallas. At the time of this writing, 52 deaths were attributed to the flu this season so far by the Dallas County Health and Human Services; health officials were quoted by Dallas News as saying that's over three times the 17 flu deaths reported in the whole 2016-17 season, and it's still too soon to tell if local cases have peaked.

Even flu-related ambulance calls are up, according to Dallas News: Since November, MedStar has reportedly seen a tenfold increase (approximately) in calls, with an average of 19.5 flu-related calls per day in January (compared to November, when there was an average of 1.8 flu-related calls per day). Yet another tracking tool, the Walgreens Flu Index (which analyzes retail prescription data for antiviral influenza medications from Walgreens locations nationwide), shows North Texas as one of the most severely affected areas for the flu in the country now, with Texas ranking at the top among the 10 states with the highest flu activity.

Ad failed to load

While only one pediatric death has been confirmed so far (a 17-year-old) by DCHHS, several schools in the area have closed for days at a time to deal with an increased number of absences and possible contamination, CBS reports.

The health department is called when at least 10 percent of students are out sick, Dr. Matthew Vereecke (superintendent for catholic schools in the Dallas Diocese) told CBS.

Ad failed to load

“During those periods we go through and we make sure we’re following sanitation protocol, they’re wiping down every desk, they’re wiping down all the door knobs, they’re making sure that everybody is going to be is healthy when they come back,” he said. “The break also gives people a chance to make sure the virus can run its course, so that they’re not bringing infected kids back to school.”

Unfortunately, not every public place is going to go through similarly exhaustive measures to protect the health and well-being of everybody in the city, so if you're out and about, the risk is real. And also unfortunately, while getting the flu shot is still your best bet at avoiding the virus, it's no guarantee — especially this year. As an article in The New York Times explained, this year's vaccine is most effective against the H1NI strain, and the strain of flu that's making so many people so incredibly ill this season is the H3N2. Another interesting (and sort of horrifying) development for those in the area is that flu Type B numbers are also on the rise — earlier in the season than expected (flu Type A is the one that most people have been contracting thus far). On the bright (?) side, Type B tends to milder than Type A; on the not-at-all bright side, this actually means that you could potentially get the flu twice. As Dallas County Health and Human Services spokeswoman Renae Crutchfield told Dallas News, this year's number of positive tests for both types (6,810 for Type A and 1,390 for Type B, at the time of this writing) are twice what the county recorded at this time last year. Yikes!

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

While this is all undoubtedly very disturbing news for anyone in Dallas or thereabouts, you should know that it's not too late to get a flu shot (though it can take a couple of weeks for the vaccine to work). On their official website, the CDC recommends "ongoing flu vaccination as long as influenza viruses are circulating" and notes that the flu season can last all the way until May (though it generally peaks between December and February). The CDC also recommends that if you do start showing signs of the flu (fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills), your should see your doctor ASAP, as the antiviral drugs prescribed to help lessen the severity and duration of the flu (such as Tamiflu) work best if you start taking them within two days of getting sick.

Stay well, Dallas!

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills