It's as a new heatmap puts part of our county in the red for the number of reported cases of flu-like bugs. The week ending December 30, 2017, saw 142 confirmed flu cases, an increase of 48 percent over the previous week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 45 states have reported widespread illnesses, and influenza activity across Texas is increasing. Doctors say the strain is not new, but may have mutated. It usually doesn't start until mid-January, but this year, we started seeing cases around November. "Everywhere from babies to elderly are getting it".
"With the increase in influenza impacting many communities across the entire state, it is important to get a flu shot now if you have not done so already", said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.
"You may be in contact with someone who has a lower immune system and you can pass it along to that person", Yee said.
"We are now spiking, but whether we have passed the peak or are continuing to rise, it's still too early to tell", she said, adding that peaks may arrive at varying times across the country as regions and communities experience major upticks in cases at different points in the epidemic.
Ms. Hill advises people to practice the three Cs - Cover coughs and sneezes, contain the flu it by staying home when you're sick, and clean hands regularly.
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"Stay hydrated", she said. Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen may reduce fever and alleviate some symptoms.
The Scott County Health Department does not give flu shots to the general public. "The vaccine effectiveness is generally less for H3N2, than it is for when influenza is H1N1 or influenza B".
For the first time, a cell-grown H3N2 vaccine reference virus was used to produce the H3N2 component of the cell-based vaccine, Flucelvax.
While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
That hasn't stopped people from getting this year's vaccination. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
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