Flu on the Rise in Texas; DSHS Encourages Vaccination, Prevention
AUSTIN, December 17, 2013 - With flu season ramping up in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services reminds people who haven’t gotten a flu shot yet this season not to put it off any longer.
The level of flu-like illness is currently classified as “high” in Texas, and medical providers are seeing an increase in flu in multiple parts of the state. Getting vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves and their families from the flu during the holiday season, when there is typically an increase in flu cases.
DSHS recommends everyone six months old and older get vaccinated. People should talk to their health care provider about the best type of flu vaccine for them. A nasal spray version is available for healthy people ages 2 to 49 who are not pregnant, and a high-dose vaccine is approved for people 65 and older.
Flu is a serious disease that kills an average of 23,600 Americans a year, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People over 65, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk for complications, so it’s especially important for them to be vaccinated.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of the flu. Additionally, cover all coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, and stay home if sick.