As flu spreads, chil­dren test pos­i­tive in hospi­tal

No lo­cal child deaths re­ported so far, doc­tor says.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Maryann Roser maroser@states­ Dr. Pat Crocker of Dell med­i­cal cen­ter says flu sea­son came early. Con­tact Mary Ann Roser at 445-3619. — amer­i­can-states­man staff Hasan was or­dered forcibly shaved be­fore Judge Gre­gory Gross was re­moved from the tria

Flu is wide­spread in Texas, and a doc­tor at Dell Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter said Tues­day about a third of the chil­dren tested there for flu in the past few days were con­firmed to have it.

“What we’re mostly see­ing is type B” flu, said Dr. Pat Crocker, chief of emer­gency medicine at Dell Chil­dren’s in Austin. “The good news is, there’s been no ex­cess mor­tal­ity in chil­dren.”

Crocker said he knew of no lo­cal child deaths from flu so far this sea­son, which came early and is ex­pected to be par­tic­u­larly se­vere, ac­cord­ing to health of­fi­cials. The De­part­ment of State Health Ser­vices said it had re­ports of two flu deaths in Texas chil­dren, both in Novem­ber.

Texas is among 18 states re­port­ing wide­spread flu, the high­est level of flu ac­tiv­ity, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion. Na­tion­ally, six chil­dren have died from flu as of Dec. 8, the CDC said.

“Flu peaks around midFe­bru­ary, and if you look at the coun­try as a whole, we’re al­ready see­ing 25 per­cent of the kids with a febrile (fever) ill­ness test­ing pos­i­tive for flu,” Crocker said.

The num­ber of peo­ple see­ing doc­tors be­cause of flu is “high” in Texas, ac­cord­ing to the state health de­part­ment. “This year peo­ple seem to feel pretty poorly” with flu, Crocker said.

How­ever most peo­ple don’t need med­i­cal at­ten­tion, un­less they ap­pear sicker than one would ex­pect or have some chronic health con­di­tion, such as asthma or kid­ney disease, he said. A fever last­ing four or five days in a per­son with flu is not un­usual, he added.

Tam­i­flu taken within 48 hours of the on­set of ill­ness can re­duce its du­ra­tion. For peo­ple who are healthy, Crocker said, “it’s not too late to get a flu shot, but it’s kind of push­ing it.” charged, of­fi­cials said Tues­day.

Jonathan E. Hodges, 32, forced his way into a home in the 900 block of North Bend Drive near Braker Lane and N. La­mar Boule­vard about 1 a.m. on Dec. 9 be­fore as­sault­ing the res­i­dent and steal­ing items such as cash, jew­elry and credit cards, po­lice said. The vic­tim was able to no­tify emer­gency of­fi­cials by ac­ti­vat­ing a per­sonal safety de­vice, of­fi­cials said.

Hodges was charged with bur­glary of a habi­ta­tion with in­tent to com­mit a felony. He was be­ing held Tues­day in the Travis County Jail with bail set at $30,000. guilty. Mil­i­tary law pro­hibits a judge from ac­cept­ing a guilty plea in a cap­i­tal mur­der trial, but Hasan’s at­tor­neys have said the Army psy­chi­a­trist wishes to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the shoot­ings.

Os­born said she would call a hear­ing in Jan­uary to take up the de­fense re­quests. She did not set a trial date.

De­fense at­tor­ney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe on Tues­day pep­pered Os­born with ques­tions re­gard­ing her im­par­tial­ity, in­clud­ing whether she had ever at­tended any me­mo­rial cer­e­monies for those killed in the Nov. 5, 2009, shoot­ings.

Os­born said she had not and Poppe said he would not chal­lenge her as­sign­ment to the case.

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