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At least five flu related deaths confirmed in Gregg County

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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

On Tuesday, a Gregg County justice of the peace confirmed that there have been at least five flu related deaths in Gregg County so far this flu season.

Health officials said exact numbers for East Texas are difficult to get. One of the reasons there is no exact number may be because child flu deaths must be reported to Texas health officials, but adult flu deaths are not tracked statewide.

The Gregg County justice of the peace said that the five deaths he knows about are all white males, between the ages of 20 and 40, who did not get the flu shot.

"Annually every year they estimate thousands of people dieas a result of the flu. One thing about the flu this year and the predominantstrain being H1N1 that typically hits more of a younger population, so we doknow there's been a couple of deaths over in Gregg County of people who are intheir thirties," George Roberts, NET Health CEO, said.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District on Tuesday said there are plenty of flu shots left and there is still time to get one. The number of flu cases began to rise in December and the season is said to end during the spring months.

Health officials said the H1N1 virus is included in this year's vaccine.

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