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Flu Widespread In Texas
Updated: Tuesday, January 15 2013, 03:34 PM CST
State health experts say the flu is widespread across Texas and the intensity of the illness is high.
They are urging Texans to get a flu shot now and take other steps to protect themselves from the flu and its possible complications.
"Texas, like much of the country, saw an early start to the flu season and continues to experience a high level of flu and flu-like illness," said Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. David Lakey. "The best thing people can do to protect themselves is to get a dose of flu vaccine now. There is plenty of vaccine available."
DSHS recommends vaccination for everyone six months old and older. It’s especially important for those in high-risk groups like children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. People in those groups are more likely to experience serious or life-threatening complications from flu such as bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic conditions like congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
Flu symptoms usually start abruptly and include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose and extreme fatigue and can last a week or longer.
"I encourage people who have a sudden onset of fever along with a cough or sore throat to talk to their doctor as soon as they can about possible treatment," Lakey said.
In addition to getting vaccinated, people should remember to protect themselves and others from flu and other respiratory illnesses by washing their hands frequently, covering all coughs and sneezes and staying home if they’re sick.
Find additional information at texasflu.org or call 2-1-1 to find out where to get a flu shot.
(Image from CDC)