Late Bite For The Flu Bug

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Only a couple of months ago health professionals were urging residents in the Brazos Valley to get their flu shots early. The goal behind the push was to make sure everyone was protected before the peak of the flu season which is usually in October and November.

This year's flu decided to peak a little later. Doctor Chris Saenz from the University Pediatric Association, UPA, said flu cases have started piling up, all in a short amount of time.

"I think we saw our first case in December and they were very rare and sporadic," Saenz said. "And within the past two to three weeks we have really noticed a large increase in the number of patients with influenza."

UPA is not the only health institution that has seen flu case numbers raise. A local health department official said their influenza patient load has picked up at least twenty percent in the last two weeks.

So what is causing this late season flu bug blitz? Saenz said a likely reason could be, infected individuals who are returning from areas where the sickness is prevalent.

"Typically [people who have contracted the flu] will then pass it on to everyone else and then that is when you typically see the explosion of cases of influenza."

Saenz advises everyone to be on the lookout for the common symptoms like high fever, a cough, and congestion. And he said the UPA has an effective anti-virual therapy for kids that can be given if the flu is recognized within 48 hours of the fever beginning.

But Saenz said if your little one is already sick, the virus will have to run its natural course. He adds that parents should keep their kids isolated from others.

"It is best to go ahead and keep them home," Saenz said.

And home is where sick grownups should stay as well.