March 18, 2018

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Flu season hits early, hard in Texas

11 January 2018

Cases of the flu continue to rise in Monroe County, and one person has died as a result of the virus.

Harding said last year's flu season wasn't as tough because the CDC did get the vaccine right then.

It says one adult between the ages of 50 to 64 died at some point between October first through December 30th.

People who are otherwise healthy with no underlying issues don't need to see a doctor if they feel like they're coming down with the flu.

The majority of the confirmed cases of the flu were between the ages of 18 and 49.

"Yes", she said. "We're seeing a significant increase in patients and outpatients with flu-related illnesses".

Riley says he remembers the last time there was an outbreak at a school a couple years back, explaining parents pulled not only the sick kids away from school, but the healthy ones.

Gunzenhauser stressed it is not too late to get vaccinated.

Flu season hits early, hard in Texas
Flu season hits early, hard in Texas

The last time they needed an extended treatment area was during the 2009 flu pandemic.

"But even if it isn't the exact strain, or a hundred-percent match, which it really can't be, it still provides some coverage, and if people do get the flu, if they've gotten the flu shot, it usually is not as severe or as long".

Wischmeier says it's still worthwhile getting a flu shot, even though the season has been underway in full force.

Schneider said the key to surviving the flu season without getting ill is to wash hands often, get the flu vaccine and exercise isolation from the public when you are sick with the flu.

"If you already have the flu we'd advise people to follow the message "Catch It, Bin It, Kill It".

"Its very important for people who are sick to be able to stay home", said Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health.

National media outlets are reporting that the flu virus is less effective than usual this year, which could be a cause of the severe season.

The state tracks only deaths from flu of patients younger than 65; the total death toll is much higher than figures reported statewide. However, some have chronic health problems and the flu can lead to complications ranging from moderate to life-threatening.

Flu season hits early, hard in Texas