BRYAN, Texas — The Brazos County Health District has been tracking the number of flu cases in the Brazos Valley this season, and reports that the number of reported cases continues to increase.
“We’ve seen incredibly high flu numbers for this time of year in Brazos County, these numbers are much higher than we’re used to seeing this time of year when we compare it to years past," said Mary Parrish, the Brazos County Health Department public information officer. "We’re not sure what is causing this spike right now. We are investigating to figure out why we had this huge leap.”
Beginning Friday, December 13, free flu shots will be offered to everyone 6 months and up at the Brazos County Health District during regular immunization hours (while supplies last). For more information on the schedule, click here.
“If you have not gotten your flu shot already, we highly encourage you to come in and get your flu shot," said Parrish. "Even if you have already gotten the flu, still come in because the flu shot protects against multiple strains of flu. And it is still possible to be re-infected."
Health officials are wanting to prevent people from getting the flu and advise that you follow these guidelines.
1. Get vaccinated for the flu
2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
4. Clean your hands
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
Health officials advise that you visit your primary care provider or urgent care, if you have flu like symptoms, such as fever, body aches, cough, and sore throat. If you're concerned about complications from the flu, like dehydration or a high fever (103 or higher), seek immediate medical attention.
“The best thing to protect a child from the flu, especially when they’re six months and under, is to vaccinate everyone in your household," said Parrish. "Make sure that mom dad siblings, grandma grandpa, anyone that’s coming through that door has their flu shots. Also just make sure that you’re washing your hands. You’re using hand sanitizer frequently, especially if you have to go out and about.”
They also advise that you limit your contact with other people if you are sick and stay home until you feel better. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
For more information about the flu, click here.