Flu season begins with reports of positive cases in East Texas

Flu season begins with reports of positive cases in East Texas

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Flu season begins Monday and Angelina County is among several locations reporting they’ve already seen several cases.

“We have had a few patients come in through the emergency room who have tested positive but those numbers will be sent, like I said, to the Department of State Health Services,” said Jaime Rice, Director of Infection Control at Woodland Height Medical Center.

Rice urges everyone to get vaccinated.

“Anyone over the age 6 months, the CDC recommends that they take the flu vaccine,” Rice said. “It’s a virus. A lot of people do not want to take the flu vaccine because they are afraid that the flu vaccine gives them the flu which is not true. The flu vaccine will not give you the flu.”

Health officials also start a new cycle of tracking the flu numbers when begins on October 1 and March 31.

In September, one child-related death has been reported as a result of the flu according to a report from the Texas Health and Human Services. However, that number increases to 11 throughout the year.

As the season moves along, school districts, including Lufkin ISD are taking precautionary measures.

This time of year also, custodial staff take extra care to clean everything also, because they know what we’re up against with the flu

Health Services Director and Nurse, Janniffer Fulbright said being informed is key when it comes to the flu and student health while knowing what to look for in the difference between common cold and the flu

“Usually, with the common cold you’re going to get better as the day progress,” Fulbright said. “With the flu, you’re probably within in a few days going to see a decline.”

Both health experts recommend maintaining basic hygiene such as washing hands thoroughly, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding people who are sick.

Rice said for this year, there is an adequate supply of flu vaccines and there is no anticipation of a shortage.

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