By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Local medical caregivers are seeing an increase in the amount of people coming in with flu-like symptoms. Although medical providers are not required to report flu cases, the city's health department says more than 400 illness with flu-like symptoms have been reported. Out of those 23 cases have been confirmed as swine flu.
"There's been a lot of talk in the news about H1N1 but we have to remember that with seasonal flu 36,000 people die every year and there are many hospitalized," said Public Health Coordinator Beckie Brawley.
Those hit hardest by the flu are children. Area school districts are seeing dramatic increases in absentee rates. Friendship ISD says during this same time last year, there are more than 200 students missing school. Lubbock Cooper ISD says their absences have tripled to 7 percent and Lubbock ISD's had doubled.
The Lubbock Health Department says the first batch of H1N1 vaccines they get will be administered to the schools because younger kids are the high risk group. "I believe they've ordered 22,000 doses and that's just to care for the kids," said Brawley.
Each of the schools districts will hold free clinics for students once the H1N1 vaccinations arrive.
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News from around the area and state on the swine flu virus sweeping the nation.