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Flu Season in Full Swing, Doctors Urging Locals to get Vaccinated

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Health Department officials are urging everyone six months or older to get a flu shot because of an alarming number of flu cases in the Brazos Valley.

Flu season is in full swing and locals are taking precaution.

"I was always happy all the years I did get it because I never got the flu,” said Wellborn resident Lori Adams.

After getting the flu shot for the last 15 years, Wellborn residents Lori Adams and Jim Thomas are taking a more holistic measure this time around.

“Instead of getting the flu shot this year we’re taking precautionary measures like washing our hands more,” said Adams. “We eat healthy; we grow our own garden raise our own chickens and we're firm believers in vitamins to help our immune system.”

Doctors are urging everyone to get vaccinated, however if you choose to take a more holistic approach, health officials say it’s never too early to start prevention.

"The H1N1 strain is what we think is the predominant strain of the 'Flu A' right now,” said College Station Medical Center Dr. Barbara Pierce. “And there is H1N1 in every vaccine available this year so you should be protected if you get vaccinated from the flu strain we're seeing right now.”

Last week, 228 cases of the flu cases were reported to the Brazos County Health Department which is 75 more than the same time last year. According to the health department, 1300 shots were administered this time last year -- but that number has already been surpassed this year -- by 700.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Texas is one of six states listed as having a high level of influenza-like illnesses, with the other states being Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

"I think it's important for adults, small children, health officials and pregnant women to get the flu shot, especially for those who have weaker immune systems," said Adams.

Doctors say practicing good hygiene, regularly washing hand and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze are great measures to take in preventing the spread of the virus. While there are medications to treat the flu, doctors say they have to be taken within 48 hours of the virus onset, meaning people who suspect they've contracted a strain and have not been vaccinated should quickly get in touch with their doctors.

“Flu-mist does have a chance of giving immune compromised people influenza because it is a weakened virus so we don't recommend it for people with asthma, we don't recommend it for the elderly and we don't recommend it for anyone with an immune compromising condition,” added Dr. Pierce.

St. Joseph hospital officials are reporting 232 new flu-cases this week.

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