Flu season starts strong - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Flu season starts strong

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It won't be rare to see your local pharmacy busier than usual this time of year.

"It's trickling in and we are bracing ourselves for the tide," said People's Pharmacy's Amy Love.

That's because Texas is now considered by the CDC elevated when it comes to flu like illnesses. This year's strain H3N2, Doctor Albert Gros said, is one of the stronger ones.

"Type A influenza H3N2 is one of the flu viruses that causes the more severe symptoms," he said.

Several St. David's Locations are reporting more and more patients coming in in the past week.

According to the CDC, since November 18th more than 12% of Texas patients have tested positive for the flu. Those kind of numbers, Dr. Gros said, are usually seen in early January. It's why he says it's important to start fending off the germs now.

"If you are in close proximity to someone that is carrying the virus then you are more likely to get it," he said.

That could be a problem with the holidays still ahead.

"It can spread up to six-feet away from someone that's actively coughing or sneezing."

To avoid H3N2 and it's more severe symptoms this season he recommends what he calls obsessive hand washing. Using antibacterial gels several times a day is also recommended. However, the best chance of avoiding the flu is to get the flu shot and get it now.

"Everybody who is medically suitable should get it simply because you can avoid getting the disease but also spreading it to family members as well," said Dr. Gos.

There is plenty of supply right now in central Texas. The St. David's Emergency Center in Bee Cave is offering free flu vaccines.

 

12813 Galleria Circle

Bee Cave, TX 78738

Telephone: (512) 816-2100

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