HOUSTON, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Health officials have confirmed that at least 13 people have died from H1N1 virus in the U.S. city of Houston this year.
The most recent death from H1N1, also known as the swine flu, was a teenager, officials with the Houston Health Department told local media KHOU Friday.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been four pediatric deaths nationwide from the flu. Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and New York remain hotbeds for flu activity.
Most confirmed H1N1 cases were reportedly on the middle-aged and the elderly. Texas has already issued a statewide influenza health alert and urged all Texans over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot.
Texas public health officials say every region of the state is seeing intense flu activity this season, which could result, as in past years, in at least several hundred deaths. In Houston area alone, hospital emergency room visits for flu-like symptoms are at a five-year high.
Official said the virus is the same strain of H1N1 that caused a pandemic in 2009. The illnesses started with flu-like symptoms, then progressed to pneumonia and, in some cases, organ failure.
The flu pandemic in the United States began in the spring of 2009. The virus had spread to the country from an outbreak in Mexico. As of mid-March 2010, the U.S. CDC estimated that about 59 million Americans contracted the H1N1 virus, 265,000 were hospitalized as a result, and 12,000 died.
Texas on flu alert as more H1N1 cases reported
HOUSTON, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Texas issued a statewide flu alert Friday as more confirmed cases of H1N1 virus were reported.
In the alert, the state health department urged all Texans over the age of six months to get a flu vaccine. Full story