Flu cases going up in Brazos County
But peak flu season isn’t quite here yet.
The Emergency Room at CHI St. Joseph Hospital is busy with lots of patients.
Some of them are showing symptoms of the flu.
“It’s really been a late flu season,” said Jake Decker, who is an RN and Clinical Educator at the hospital.
“Kind of thought we were missing it a little bit this year but certainly over the last few weeks we’ve seen a bigger influx and throughout the hospital kind of felt the surge on that,” he said.
Decker says you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you.
“If you’re having symptoms like dehydration, dizziness, overly weak, your fever’s not coming down with Tylenol or Motrin. Might want to come and see us here at the ER,” he suggested.
“According to the CDC peak flu season should be within the next couple of weeks,” said Mary Parrish, with the Brazos County Health Department.
The Health Department is doing something new.
They are giving out free flu shots to adults so that their stockpile doesn’t go to waste.
“Ideally they’re supposed to go to people who are uninsured. Homeless, high-risk populations and unfortunately we just haven’t been able to get rid of them and so we want to make sure that we’re not wasting the state and our’s money,” she said.
“It’s not too late to get your flu shot. Your flu shot not only protects you against multiple types of flu, but it also shortens the time that you’re sick if you do end up getting the flu,” Parrish added.
They’re also hoping the free shots will reduce the number of people getting sick.
“In Brazos County, we’ve seen a very slow but steady increase in the number of flu and flu-like illnesses,” said Parrish.
The flu shot takes about two weeks to take full effect.
Dr. Seth Sullivan with Baylor Scott & White Medical Center told KBTX this is appearing to be an average year and not as bad as the total number of cases seen in the Bryan / College Station region last year.
He said the CDC is reporting around 9 million influenza-like cases across the country this year. Last year’s estimate was around 49 million the entire season.