12:50 pm CDT, Monday, October 7, 2019
The Houston area is finally experiencing some “cold” weather.
The reality is that any temperature under 90 degrees is a welcome relief for residents. The slight drop on thermometers everywhere should also indicate that it’s time to at least start preparing for the dreaded “flu season.”
In 2019, flu season peaked in roughly the middle of February, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. But the organization states that, technically, the official influenza reporting season for the United States begins in October and continues through May.
So, infants, senior citizens and everyone in between should be getting their flu shots over the course of the next several weeks.
Thankfully, we’ve combined the tips and suggestions from Dr. Ruby Rose, a a board-certified emergency room physician with SignatureCare Emergency Center of Texas. We’ve also listed out several notes and tips from the Center for Disease Control, the Harris County Public Health office and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
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- Get your flu vaccine today
- The CDC recommends all people 6 months and older receive a flu vaccination. This includes pregnant women and people with chronic health condition
- Influenza is not the same illness as a cold. Different viruses cause colds. Influenza tends to be worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever and body aches are more common and intense.
- For those who worry about the flu vaccine, Dr. Rose said getting vaccinated does not cause the flu.
- Per, the CDC, almost 49 million people got sick from the flu last season causing missed work and school days
- Other forms of prevention include hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers cover your coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue or your arm or sleeve, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, avoid close contact with persons who are ill, stay home when you are ill, take antiviral medications if prescribed by your doctor
- Flu symptoms can include one or more of: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue, and sometimes photophobia.
- If you suspect you or your family may have the flu, then you can visit the closest emergency room.
- Those at highest-risk for developing flu-related complications include: Children younger than five (especially two) years old, adults age 65 or older, pregnant women, nursing home residents and those with pre-existing medical conditions
- If you need help finding a a flu clinic near you, click here
Peter Dawson is a digital reporter in Houston. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. | Peter.Dawson@chron.com| Sign up for breaking news alerts