Flu Season Spike

Texas is getting sick more than most

Flu Season Spike

Wash those hands and drink your O.J. – Texas is seeing a significant spike in flu cases. While state hospital labs reported about 60 positive influenza tests during the week of Dec. 18-24, 2016, nearly 780 cases have been reported during the same time period this winter. Since October, the start of flu season, more than 4,000 Texans have tested positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorize Texas among the states experiencing "high" and "widespread" flu activity. And recent data collected from Walgreens (based on antiviral medicine sales) shows Texas sizably leading the nation in flu cases.

The viral ailment is also increasing in Travis County, where the number of flu cases that tested positive at hospital and public health labs rose from about 20% to 41% from the previous two weeks, as of Dec. 23. Three flu-related deaths had occurred in the Austin area as of that date, according to Travis County Public Health. The elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to flu complications. Don't fret though, there's still time to get vaccinated: Find out where to get the flu shot in Austin at www.vaccinefinder.org (via Austin Public Health). And remember, uninsured children six months and older, and uninsured / Medicare recipient adults can get free flu shots at Austin Public Health immunization clinics; call 512/972-5520 for details.

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