Flu cases on the rise, peak season still months away

POSTED: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 4:27pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 9:50pm

The aches and pains and high fever; they're all signs and symptoms of the flu and it's running rampant in Brazos County

"We've just seen it quicker," said Registered Nurse with the Brazos County Health Department, Julie Anderson. "Normally you think of flu in February and we started seeing it in early December. It just went from nothing to something overnight."

Health officials say about 90 percent of all the local cases reported are Type A Influenza as opposed to Type B.

And of those Type A, 90 percent are the H1N1 strain.

"This is the strain that we saw back in 2009 and why it's appropriately named," said Dr. Seth Sullivan with Scott and White. "The good news is that this is contained in the vaccine that is recommended for everyone."

But if the H1N1 strain is the same, why is there such an uptick in flu cases this early in the year?

Dr. Sullivan says it could be for a number of reasons, "We don't always know why things happen. There are theories but it's very complex from the climate, to animal population, to human patterns and behavior patterns."

And with the students getting ready to come back to town next week for school, the health department expects to see another big surge in cases so they stress the importance of getting the flu shot if you haven't already done so

"You'll kind of see an ebb and flow of flu cases peak and then dwindle," said Dr. Erik Wilke with the Brazos County Health Authority. "I think we're still on that upward slope right now."

So expect it to get worse before it gets better.


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