Gregg County officials confirm 2 dead from H1N1, flu vaccinations on the rise
POSTED: Friday, December 20, 2013 - 7:05pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 20, 2013 - 7:48pm
Longview, TX (KETK) — It's not even the peak of flu season yet, but Texas is experiencing a high H1N1 outbreak. The strain of the flu has taken six Texan's lives in the past couple of weeks, including two in Gregg County.
Health officials say the flu, particularly the H1N1 strand, is not something to take lightly.
On Friday, they confirmed two people in Gregg County had died from the virus.
Pharmacist Shawn Sams says you can die from any type of flu.
"It doesn't matter what type it is, type A or type B," says Sams "Part of the problem that we see with the newer types of flu strands, we're having problems with H1n1, they kill healthy people."
That's exactly what happened to one Gregg County father.
Jeremy Chapman was just 37-years-old, active and healthy, when H1N1 killed him.
Alan Hopkins with Northeast Texas Health says the illness can be prevented with a flu vaccine.
"Take precautions, you need to get a flu vaccine," said Hopkins.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Texas is experiencing an H1N1 outbreak. Six people have died from the virus within the past couple of weeks and the number of people infected in on the rise, especially in East Texas.
Many East Texans are now rushing to get their flu shots. Health Officials tell KETK, Friday has been the busiest day for flu shots on record.
Longview resident Keeley Peel got the last flu shot of the morning at Louis Morgan #4.
She says after hearing about the H1N1 deaths, she couldn't wait any longer.
"It's very scary," says Peel. "There's a lot of people that think they don't need the flu shot and it's a real risk to run if you don't get it."
Pharmacies and clinics say they have ordered more of the vaccine and they are prepared for a busy weekend.