Carrollton teen dies from flu; hospitals & schools on alert - Dallas News |

Carrollton teen dies from flu; hospitals & schools on alert

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Hospitals are putting out a flu alert to prevent visitors from spreading the virus.

John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth is urging parents who visit patients at the hospital to leave their children at home, especially if they're showing flu symptoms.

Currently, 26 people are already being hospitalized at JPS with the flu, and seven are in intensive care.

Two children are among the 19 flu-related deaths in North Texas this season. One of them was 13-year-old Lydia Kizziar who passed away Saturday at Children's Medical Center in Plano. She lived in Carrollton but was a seventh grader at Founders Classical Academy in Lewisville.

There is a growing concern about the youngest patients.

Stephanie Raygoza brought her children, 3-year-old Kyle and 2-year-old Haylee, to get flu shots after hearing about the death of a child in Denton County from this year's flu.

"I hear of it on the news and I don't want that to happen to my kids," said Raygoza. "It's really scary to think when they're just getting a fever. It's just scary."

Many children are getting very sick this season's flu.

"We're seeing a lot of patients who have come in with really high fevers: 103.8, 104.5," said Dr. Cesar Termulo, Jr. "So, these aren't just the normal what people believe is the flu, like a little runny nose and a cough. I mean, these patients are coming in very sick."

Some of the cases at Medical City Children's Hospital Dallas have been mild.

"But we have seen serious cases of the flu, too, with a few patients admitted to the ICU, and multiple patients admitted to the hospital," said Dr. Matt Bush.

Wednesday, officials with the Dallas Independent School District released a letter to school staff and parents of students, telling them that children with flu symptoms shouldn't return to school unless they haven't had a fever for at least 24-hours without using fever-reducing medicine.

For DISD students, a doctor's note won't be required for children to return to school, but parents of sick children should let schools know by 10 a.m. on days they won't be attending.

The letter also asked parents monitor their children's health and check for flu symptoms every morning.

Dallas County Health Director Zach Thompson told commissioners the county has 3,000 children's doses remaining.

"It may be challenging as we go into this January, February to find the flu vaccine as people go out, especially the children's flu vaccine," said Thompson.

Some pharmacies have flu vaccines; others are out. Private pediatricians are reporting to have a good supply.

"A lot of the flu that's circulating right now is H1N1, which is the swine flu that in 2009, caused a lot of people to die," Dr. Termulo. "And that vaccine, that particular strain, is in the vaccine this year, so we have plenty of vaccine and there's no reason not to get the vaccine."

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