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Flu season: 11 deaths reported in Travis County

Health officials said Thursday that 11 Travis County residents have died during the current flu season. Earlier in the week, Austin Public Health (APH) reported seven deaths. (Photo: U.S. Air Force / MGN Online)

Health officials said Thursday that 11 Travis County residents have died during the current flu season. Earlier in the week, Austin Public Health (APH) reported seven deaths.

Carole Barasch with APH added that approximately 1,200 have been tested for the flu in Travis County this flu season and that number “could go up.”

Inside 911 dispatch centers, Austin-Travis County EMS Commander Johnathan Mudge said for the past two weeks they’ve seen an increase in 911 calls related to respiratory complaints and potentially the flu.

ATCEMS shared three short 911 calls all from residents detailing their illnesses as flu related. All the calls came from the same day.

Mudge said is you’re showing signs of the flu and you’re not very young or elderly, don’t call 911 and try and stay out of emergency rooms. He added some of the symptoms of the flu could be cedar fever given that the cold front that blew through Thursday brought with it a much higher cedar pollen count.

When asked if flu-related 911 calls are keeping EMS from responding to more severe 911 calls, Mudge said, “Regardless of the natures of the call, it’s prioritized by severity and we’ll respond appropriately."

At urgent care centers, wait times for some places in Cedar Park and on Barton Springs Road were upwards of two hours, while off Anderson Mill and Burnet Road they were below 45 minutes.

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