TRAVIS COUNTY – Sounds of sniffling and coughing can be heard across Texas with what could be the worst flu season in the past few years.
Texas has ranked number one with the most flu activity nationwide. In Travis County, at least seven people have died from the flu since the fall of 2017, according to Austin Public Health.
Health care clinics are seeing up to 90 patients a day with flu-like symptoms in the Austin area. Central Health said the flu outbreak most likely hasn’t even reached its zenith point yet.
Across the state, the Texas Department of State Health Services has reported 1,155 deaths from the flu since October 2017.
“If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible,” said Dr. Brendan De Marco, associate director of Infection Control for CommUnityCare Health Centers. “With a flu diagnosis, there are medications to treat the flu that will help symptoms go away faster, lessen the severity of the illness and result in fewer complications.”
De Marco said flu medications are most effective if it is started within 48 hours of contracting symptoms.
The Influenza A strain is seemingly dominating this season, which includes H1N1 and H3N2. The flu is contagious up to seven days after a person gets sick.
CommUnityCare in Travis County is reminding residents not to let a lack of health insurance keep them from being treated. They will accept anyone at their two walk-in clinics on 41st Street and William Cannon.
“We strive to ensure every person in Travis County has access to quality health care, no matter where they live, how much money they make, or where they’re from,” said Mike Geeslin, President and CEO of Central Health.
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath