Flu activity spiking earlier than last year
San Antonio – Flu activity is spiking in Bexar County and around Texas, according to the latest numbers.
Reports from the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District for the week of Dec. 8-14 and from Texas Department of Health and Human Services for the week of Dec. 15-21, both show a rise in the percentage of visits to health care providers for influenza-like illnesses.
The spikes are putting the levels above where the county and state were at the same time in the 2018-2019 flu season, although the trend appears to be closely following the flu season from 2017-2018.
Dr. Anthony Hartzler, an infectious diseases specialist with UT Health San Antonio, said that this seems like an average year for flu nationally. Despite the spikes in percentage of healthcare provider visits, Hartzler said it’s too early to say if this year will be worse than others.
Even if the flu is on the rise, Hartzler said it’s not too late to get the flu shot, which could help protect you and people around you who are most at risk, like small children and the elderly.
“But in adults, we can also see complications in adults who have medical problems,” Hartzler said. “Things like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes.”
The flu shot won’t completely eliminate your chance of getting the flu, though it will lower your chances of complications. Hartzler advises being conscientious about hand washing, too.
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