Flu season hitting stride in December; Valley experiencing high number of cases
POSTED: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 4:27pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 1:45pm
Flu season arrived in full force this December. The level of of flu-like illness currently stands as "high" in Texas, according to the Department of State Health Services.
In the last few months, Influenza A climbed steadily in Texas: The virus rose from less than 50 cases a week in October to almost 400 cases in the first week of December.
A noticeable uptick in the number of positive Influenza A 2009 (H1N1) tests also took place. More than 100 were confirmed in the first week of December, up from a small amount in October (see Figure 1 below).
The Rio Grande Valley us experiencing a high number of influenza cases as indicated in the graph below.
DSHS has recommended everyone 6-months-old and older get vaccinated. However, the best defense is non-pharmaceutical, Hopkins said.
"Prevention is the biggest thing. The flu vaccine is very effective. The most effective thing is washing your hands, covering your cough, staying home when you're sick and disposing of tissues."
More than 23,000 Americans are killed by influenza each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
See more data on the state's website.