TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s flu season in East Texas and this year, it’s come a little earlier than usual, but nothing too concerning to local doctors.
According to this map from the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Flu activity Report:
- A majority of East Texas counties reported ‘rapid test flu positive’ results.
- Multiple northern counties were positive for either Flu A or Flu B.
- Camp County recorded positive results for both Flu A and Flu B.
“We’re seeing a lot of flu A and flu B,” said Dr. Jessica Bracks, a family physician with UT Health East Texas. “In my clinic, we’re seeing predominantly flu B this year.”
Throughout Texas, doctors visits for the flu began a little earlier than usual and saw a spike in the end of November.
According to Dr. Bracks, East Texas followed the same trend.
“We did have an increase earlier in the year than we did last year,” said Dr. Bracks. “We have a bell curve, so you will have a sudden onset rush of flu then a little bit of a lull then get into peak in January or February, so we’re getting there.”
In Texas hospital labs, the percentage of positive tests for influenza increased by 8.90 percent in the last week, alone. The percentage of doctors visits for flu-like symptoms increased by 2.58 percent.
Dr. Bracks said with increasing numbers and the severity of flu season still to come, people should still go and get their flu shot if they haven’t yet.
“It is never to late to get a flu shot. We prefer people to get their flu shot by the end of October, but because we have such a long flu season anytime is best,” said Bracks. “Any type of prevention is better than none.”
Bracks said if you’re having flu-like symptoms, to make sure to stay hydrated and take some over-the-counter cough medicine to try to help alleviate your symptoms. If that doesn’t help, go see your doctor and get tested for the flu.
Bracks also suggested, if you’re travelling for the holiday, don’t be afraid to wear a mask to protect your and others, make sure not to share food or drinks with anyone and always wash your hands.
To see the current flu activity reports, click here.