- Texas and the rest of the nation are in the middle of a particularly bad flu season. Fortunately, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. DSHS encourages everyone six months old and older to get a flu shot as soon as possible because there is still high level of flu circulating in the state.
- Most flu cases in the 2014-2015 flu season have been caused by the H3N2 strain, often associated with more severe illness and more hospitalizations and deaths. DSHS tracks the number of pediatric deaths due to the influenza. So far this season, six Texas children have died from the flu.
- Research has shown that many of the flu viruses circulating this year are different than those contained in the vaccine, so the vaccine may provide limited protection. However, while the vaccine is not perfect, it offers the best defense we have against the flu and will protect against some cases, hospitalizations and deaths from influenza.
- It is also important for health care providers to consider the flu as a possible diagnosis and prescribe antiviral medications when appropriate. DSHS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage providers to treat flu patients promptly with antivirals to reduce symptoms, prevent serious complications and shorten the duration of the illness.
Flu in TexasDSHS’s current flu surveillance report shows the geographic distribution of flu activity in Texas as “regional,” and the intensity of flu-like illness is “high.”
Flu season is here. Here’s what you can do.
TexasFlu.org is the DSHS site for flu information in Texas. Bookmark it. Dial 2-1-1 for flu information and vaccination locations or use the Vaccine Locator to find out about vaccine availability in your area.
Get a flu vaccination now. It’s the best way to protect yourself and others.
STOP THE SPREAD
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you’re sick. Have a plan to care for sick family members at home.