News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

North Texas Readies For Busy Flu Season

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

Dallas and Tarrant County Medical Directors expect a busy flu season. That's because school starts soon. And they figure on seeing a growing number of H1N1 -or "Swine flu" patients, plus those with seasonal flu. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more

That's the bad news - more patients with flu. The good news - although it's still a "wait and see," - is that Swine flu symptoms seem not as severe as once feared. In most cases, not really worse than seasonal flu. So Doctor Sandra Parker, Tarrant County Medical Director, says responses may not be as extreme as in the spring.

Parker: We don't anticipate having to use an extreme measure as school closure at this point.

But Parker warns the H1N1 virus could mutate. She and Dallas health authorities will monitor it closely. Dallas County Medical Examiner Doctor John Carlo says prevention on an individual level likely makes the most sense.

Carlo: The best medicine is making sure that people that are sick and symptomatic stay home. And then the individual precautions, such as hand washing, and cough and sneeze etiquette and clean environment and those sorts of things, those are going to be the most effective ways to prevent flu.

Both county medical leaders urge getting H1N1 and season flu shots when they arrive this fall. The city of Arlington has already launched its flu prevention plan, which includes hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying home if you're sick.

Email Bill Zeeble