Flu season off to a slow start, flu shot still recommended

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 09, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:34-04

Flu season is off to a low start in Central Texas, but during this National Influenza Vaccination Week doctors are reminding people it is not too late to get vaccinated.

In McLennan County, 187 influenza-like illnesses were reported during the week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 3. In Bell County, that number was 100 during that same period of time. 

Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Spokeswoman said Kelly Craine when flu season peaks, there is an increase of 300 to 400 weekly.

"The key will be next week. What happens next week. Are we going to see an increase? Are we going to see the amount double? Right now we are in a low season. That could change in a weekly basis, so we have to monitor it," Craine said.

Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Pediatric Clinic Dr. Katherine Thaller has only seen 10 cases of Flu B. However, that could change as the weather gets colder. 

"When  it's cold people tend to be together in buildings more than they are outside and we often forget to wash our hands and people cough on each other so it's easier to spread disease that way," Thaller said.

If you experience flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, bod y aches and chills, make sure to visit your doctor. 

"In the first 24 to 48 hours of symptoms, you will be asked to come on in and get evaluated by your physician and get the flu test done and if you are positive, we'll start you Tamiflu, which is an antiviral that is designed to decrease your symptoms and your contagion" Thaller said.

Both Thaller and Craine agree the best solution would be to prevent the flu by getting a vaccine.

"We still have a lot of flu season to go. January, February are always strong months for flu so be aware, as the holidays begin, as we start traveling, you are going to have more opportunities to come across people who are sick, have the flu and don't realize it. So you need to be protected. It's not too late," Craine said. 

To find out where to get an immunization in McLennan County, click here.

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