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Four Flu-Related Deaths at Shannon Medical Center

Four people have died from the flu at Shannon Medical Center since Christmas Day. A press conference was held at the hospital Tuesday to stress how widespread the illness is across the state.
Four dead and one on life-support at Shannon Medical Center -- all infected with Influenza A.

"Don't wait," Dr. Irv Zeitler at Shannon says if you think you might have the flu. "Don't think it is going to get better because this is what has happened to these folks."

Those who died from the flu were between the ages of 38 and 59 and all had a secondary illnesses, such as "COPD, diabetes, morbid obesity, all sorts of other issues," Zietler said.

They were all placed on respiratory support -- but it was not enough.

The first death at Shannon was on Christmas Day. The latest was Friday, January 3. Only one of the four dead had received the flu vaccine.

Typically, Shannon has about six people admitted to their hospital this time of year because of the flu. On Tuesday, they had 28.

"Wash your hands ... Cover your cough and if you are sick, stay home," Zeitler says, adding that these are all symptoms of the flu, along with a fever over 101 and trouble breathing.

The State of Texas is listed as "high" with flu activity. Zeitler says four have also died in Abilene and more than a dozen in Dallas.

The Centers for Disease Control will confirm if the cases at Shannon are H1N1. Zeitler says it is likely.

A flu-shot clinic will be held at Shannon at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 10. Zeitler says they have more than 1,000 shots available.

Michelle Kingston, KLST News.

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