Flu activity is 'widespread' statewide. Still time to get vaccine, officials say

As of December 9, around 17.1 percent of Dallas County flu tests reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back positive for the virus. To date three people, have died from the flu, 66 people have been hospitalized.

Masks must be donned when there are two or more laboratory-confirmed, unrelated influenza cases in the county. "CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend flu shots for all women who are or expect to be pregnant during the flu season".

"I think there's much more to come", Thompson said.

One flu virus circulating, influenza A (H3N2), has been more resistant to flu vaccinations, though Koening said many of those cases have been in Australia where the flu season is winding down, and not predictive of what will happen in the United States. Vaccines are available at doctor's offices, pharmacies, and local health departments.

This might mean employers considering more flexible sick-time policies so that employees can stay home without losing wages. Limiting the spread of flu helps the entire community, including employers.

According to an Oct. 4 directive by MCMC, workforce members, volunteers and students who do not receive the flu shot must wear a mask within six feet of a patient during the flu season, which is typically between October through May, with a peak in February.

Seasonal flu activity
Seasonal flu activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control the flu is often spread person to person.

"They've had it since, like, three months ago", Perez said.

The most compelling statistic is the increase in reported flu cases from this time past year.

Burton said that's not good for avoiding flu and infections, as the germs from the facial tissue are transferred to the inside of the pocket or the sleeve, and can be picked up again by touching those places afterwards.

Young children and those who are elderly or have chronic disease are especially vulnerable to the flu's more severe consequences.

Anderson also states that getting the vaccine not only helps the individual, but can help keep others healthy as well.

  • Santos West