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Travis County flu deaths reach record 34 as two die in recent days


Highlights

This year’s flu season has seen the most deaths reported in Travis County in more than 10 years.

With four strains of the flu circulating, health officials warn that it is possible to test positive twice.

Two more people in Travis County have died from the flu, bringing the total number of county deaths so far this season to 34, health officials said Monday.

This year’s flu season has been particularly deadly, with the most deaths reported in Travis County in more than 10 years, Austin Public Health spokeswoman Carole Barasch said.

No children have died from the flu, and the majority of deaths have been people 80 and older, she said.

“It seems like initially the deaths were being caused by the A strain, but lately we have been seeing deaths also caused by the B strain,” Barasch said.

Because four different strains of the flu are circulating this year, Barasch warned that it is possible to test positive more than once. She is encouraging people to get flu shots.

Although people can get sick with the illness anytime, flu season typically lasts from October to May, with cases peaking in January and February, officials said.

“Stay at home if you’re sick, cover your cough if you sneeze, get your flu shot and be very mindful of washing your hands regularly,” Barasch said. “We know it’s a very bad flu season.”

The second-deadliest flu season in Travis County was 2014-15, when 17 people died from the illness, including two children, health officials said.



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