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Flu-related deaths increase to 8 in Beaumont
BEAUMONT - by Scott Lawrence
KFDM News has learned the number of suspected flu-related deaths in Beaumont has increased from six to eight.
We contacted Sherry Ulmer, the Director of the Beaumont Public Health Department, to check on the statistics now that kids are preparing to head back to school and parents are heading back to work after the holiday break. She told us two more deaths in Beaumont are now linked to the flu, increasing the total number of deaths in Beaumont from six to eight.
There've been at least 15 in the Houston region, which includes Beaumont. All of the people who died were at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth. There've been no reported flu deaths at Baptist Beaumont Hospital, according to Mary Poole with Baptist. One person lived in Beaumont, one in Port Arthur, three were from Jasper County, two lived in Hardin County and one in the San Antonio area. They ranged in age from 24-73. Hundreds have sought treatment in emergency rooms. Most of the cases are H1N1.
Ulmer says none of the men and women had received a flu shot. The Health Director is urging anyone who hasn't received a shot to visit the Health Department, a pharmacy or a doctor to get one. Anyone with flu symptoms should make sure their doctor begins immediate treatment with Tamiflu.