How’s Texas faring with flu cases right now?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The current flu season began Sept. 29 and, according to data, should have petered out through last month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season typically peaks between December and February, but in some occasions, can last until May.

The Texas Department of State Health Services’ latest Texas Influenza Surveillance Report, which lists flu-related activity from May 24 to 30, indicates:

Texas hospital labs:

Number of labs reporting flu tests — 10Number of specimens tested — 401Number of positive specimens — 1

Public health labs did not report any information.

The Texas Department of State Health Services notes, however, that influenza information may not always be complete. According to its site, DSHS says that the majority of flu cases are not reportable by state law. Information only reflects cases that are voluntary reported to public health.

Texas DSHS also notes that some aspects of influenza surveillance may be affected by current COVID-19 response activities.

Back in January, KXAN reported that the flu had killed two in Travis County at that point in the season. Additionally, there were 13 flu-related child deaths reported, Austin Public Health said.

Generated on May 30, the health department’s latest map — showing the highest levels of influenza activity by county — shows only one county with a positive flu rapid test, but many others with no lab confirmation.

The numbers of flu cases in Travis County, the most current estimate available at the moment, listed a little over 400 positives.

Flu prevention

Back in November, Michael Wright, district commander for Austin-Travis County EMS, told KXAN a few tips for staying flu-free.

MORE: Five tips and hints to keep the flu away this winter

Tips include:

Get the flu shot

“The first thing is this: The flu shot is absolutely the most important. You can’t get the flu from the flu shot,” Wright said.

Wash your hands

“Second thing is make sure that you wash your hands religiously, wash them all the time and keep your hands away from your face.”

Don’t spread your germs

“If you need to cough or sneeze, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow so it doesn’t aresolize around everybody else.”

Get care ASAP

“If you have the symptoms of the flu – fever, headache, scratchy throat, a cough, sneezing, body aches – get care. You have to get care within 48 hours to be able to mitigate the flu.”

If you’re ill, stay indoors

“And the fifth thing is very simple: If you have the signs and symptoms, don’t go outside. Don’t go to school, don’t go to work, don’t go to church, don’t go to the mall. Stay inside and make sure that your family is also getting care.”

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