Texas students mourn teacher who died of flu

Heather Holland, a second grade teacher in Weatherford, Texas, is being remembered as an educator who made a difference in students' lives. She died of the flu earlier this month.

“As you might expect, today is a difficult day at that campus,” Charlotte LaGrone of the Weatherford ISD stated Monday. “We are working our processes to care for students, parents and staff.” Counselors will be available at the school through the entire week to help people cope with the loss.

LaGrone added that custodians have been deep-cleaning the district’s schools since December in order to protect students and staff members from this particularly nasty flu season. Ikard Elementary School was last cleaned on Friday. The school district used Holland’s death as a chance to remind everyone about keeping healthy habits.

Holland's death comes as hospitals nationwide are seeing record numbers of patients with the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's flu season has been dominated by H3N2, a particularly nasty strain which is linked to more severe illnesses.

"Unfortunately, more deaths are likely to happen" over the next few weeks, CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said at a briefing Friday.

Antiviral drugs like Tamiflu (oseltamivir) can reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms somewhat if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, but they are not an immediate cure.

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