Doctors are urging people to get a shot flu shot now despite concerns about its effectiveness.
Providence Healthcare Network Emergency Physician Dr. Scott Oslund said children as young as six months old are now recommended to get the vaccine.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control are advising to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine because of concerns over its effectiveness.
Overall, there have been concerns over how well the vaccine works overall. Dr. Oslund said data from Australia showed it only had a 10 percent effectiveness there.
The data used for the vaccine used in the U.S. comes from Australia because the flu season happens earlier.
According to the CDC, estimates of the flu vaccine’s effectiveness against circulating flu viruses in the U.S. will be available in later months.
Oslund still recommends people to get their flu shot now as the season could extend until May and the virus may be stronger this year.
“People might be hesitant in coming years to get the vaccination if this year doesn't work out so well but the CDC recommends to get the vaccination because 10 percent is better than zero,” Oslund said.
In McLennan County, the number of flu cases decreased to 1,283 last week compared to 1,541 the week before.
In Bell County, the number of unconfirmed influenza cases went from more than 450 cases to over 400 cases. These statistics don’t include two major hospitals in Bell County.
In Brazos County, the total number of cases went from 283 for the week ending on December 16th to 668 for the week ending on Dec. 23. The statistics for last week are not available yet.
Pharmacies in Central Texas also report having to order more prescription drugs, such as Tamiflu, than in previous years to combat the virus.
Patients are treated with Tamiflu within 48 hours when the symptoms begin.
If you are experience flu-like symptoms, such as fewer, cough, runny nose and body aches, Oslund recommends you to stay at home for 24 hours until the fever is gone.
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