Houston Health Department confirms 2 flu-related deaths

HOUSTON — The Houston Health Department has confirmed two women in their 60s died at the end of last year from the flu.

City health officials said one woman died at the end of November and the other one died in December.

Houston ISD said nurses have reported 421 cases of students with flu-like illness. The first small number of confirmed flu cases was in mid-October, according to HISD.

Out of the 427 cases of students with flu-like symptoms, 118 cases were confirmed with the flu since the beginning of the school year.  70 percent of those confirmed cases were in November and December, according to the district.

[READ: Montgomery County reports 1st flu-related death]

Dr. Zeeshan Shaikh of  Southwest Urgent and Family Care said this is the worst flu season he’s ever seen and blames it on a number of different reasons.

“It’s already three to four times the normal flu season. It usually doesn’t start until mid-January, but this year, we started seeing cases around November. First, we had Harvey and water is standing in different places and people are displaced. The second is the weather change. We were expecting a bit of a spike. But the third, which is the most important, is the flu vaccine. I think the flu vaccine is working on less than 10% of the population,” Shaikh said. “Usually what happens with influenza is it keeps changing its RNN and DNN, so it’s modifying themselves and that’s why we’re not getting a good strain target.”

If you start experiencing any flu-like symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose or body aches, see a doctor immediately.