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Clouds will be on the increase Wednesday ahead of our next good risk of rain Thursday evening into Friday. Chilly temperatures tonight with lows in the middle to upper 30's in the Lakes Area to near 40 in the Triangle.
Lakes Area Forecast.....
Flu deaths increased
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
The number of flu deaths in Beaumont has increased by two during the holiday break from six to eight according to the Beaumont health director. The victims range in age from 24 to 73.
One lived in Beaumont, another in Port Arthur, three were from Jasper County, two more from Hardin County and one lived in the San Antonio area. Each died at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, the health director said.
"We have had a total of eight deaths at one of our local hospitals," Sherry Ulmer, R.N.,Director of the Beaumont Health Department, said.
Ulmer said none of the eight received a shot.
"We do think that all of them had some type of underlying condition," Ulmer said. "They may have been not really sick but they did have something that contributed to them not being able to fight off this virus."
Word of the deaths and the potential danger is spreading as fast as the virus.
"I came in today to get the boys their flu shots being that school is about to start on Monday and flu is going around really bad," Shaun Wheaton said.
She's acting now because she's already had the flu.
"Anything to protect them from the flu, I'm gonna do," Wheaton said.
"I don't like needles but if I don't have to go through what she went through I'd do anything,"Wheaton's son, Jamie Wheaton, said.
The 15-year old and his 11-year old brother wanted the protection before they go back to school next week.
"I don't want to be sick because there's no telling what people are carrying around these days so I want to be safe," Jamie Wheaton said.
"When children start going back to school next week we do expect that those numbers will increase because that's a typical trend for us," Ulmer said.
It's a trend that doesn't usually peak until February.
A battle the health department will wage one shot at a time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people 6 months and older get a flu shot each flu season.
The Beaumont Health Department will have extended hours Monday until 6 p.m.