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Starting the New Year With the Flu? You’re Not Alone

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Maybe it’s not just the effects of the New Year’s Eve drinks that you’re feeling today. Many people in East Texas are sick with something other than the “brown bottle flu” right now.

Flu cases are up in Texas. Emergency rooms from Dallas to Tyler to Houston are saying they’re seeing more flu cases right now, with fevers of 102 to 103 and that yucky, awful, achey feeling. And of course the other pleasantries associated with the flu that we don’t need to mention.

With flu cases on the rise, what can be done?

Doctors say the flu can spread through the tiniest droplet of fluid that comes from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. If that droplet ends up on a door knob and you touch that, then scratch your nose….yes, there’s a good chance you’ll be the next one to get the flu. Wash your hands a LOT, and use the antibacterial gels.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta confirms there have been flu cases in several Ealst Texas counties, including in alphabetical order: Gregg, Henderson, Nacogdoches, Rusk, Smith, Upshur and Wood counties. Texas is in Region 6 if you look at this link. The worst flu outbreak in the country is in an area including Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, but Texas is showing an elevated number of cases too.

Has the flu hit your family? It hit mine in mid-November even though we had flu shots. Doctors say flu shots help make sure if we do get the flu, our case won’t be as bad as it could have been. Our bug was in and out of the house within 24 hours. Flu shots prevent the flu too, by allowing us to build up antibodies.

Flu season runs through May in Texas, with the worst of it in December, January, and February. It’s not too late for a flu shot. They’re still available at most doctor’s offices and pharmacies. The pediatric flu shots may be a little harder to find, but the others for older kids and adults are still widely available.

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