DSHS urges physicians to continue administering flu shots

Tags: news, department of state health services, vaccination, influenza

DSHS urges physicians to continue administering flu shots

posted 03.03.11

The Texas Department of State Health Services has released a bulletin reminding the public that it’s not too late to be vaccinated against the flu. DSHS recommends everyone over six months old be vaccinated.

According to DSHS, flu has been classified as “widespread” in Texas since mid-January, meaning that multiple regions of the state have been experiencing outbreaks or increasing numbers of flu cases over the last several weeks. At this time last year, the flu was classified as “sporadic.” The strains in circulation include influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and influenza B. The good news is that this year’s flu vaccination covers all three strains. The bad news is that patients who do not receive a flu vaccination could contract the flu up to three times before the flu season ends in May.

Flu kills an average of 23,600 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People over 65, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk for complications and are encouraged to get the vaccine and seek medical attention should they present with flu symptoms: high fever, coughing, severe headache, sore throat, aches, chills, and fatigue.

To view the current flu activity in Texas, go to the DSHS influenza surveillance webpage.