After a slow start this season, health experts warn more people could get infected with the flu virus in the upcoming months of 2017. According to the Brazos County Health Department records, there have been 860 flu cases from August to December last year, with the numbers peaking shortly before New Year’s Eve.
Dr. Lon Young at Caprock Emergency Room in College Station says that while last year there have been only several cases of flu recorder, the numbers in patients exhibiting symptoms of the illness are starting to rise in January. Furthermore, the scientists have identified both A and B strains consistent with this year’s flu season. Fortunately, however, the vaccine includes both strains for maximized protection against the virus.
The Flu Vaccine
According to the health experts, the flu vaccine is changed every year. However, while the shot could be effective most times, in some cases the vaccine is not a perfect match for the virus. Nevertheless, medical professionals are positive that this year’s vaccine is best suited for the population. Hence, they recommend citizens to get the flu shot as soon as possible, especially those under the age of five or elderly people over 65, as healthcare providers expect the number of flu cases to increase in the upcoming weeks.
However, more research is needed in order to tell for sure how aggressive this year’s strain will actually be, said Dr. Brian Goerig, a Family Medicine Physician. He warns that even though last year, the population was subjected to a milder strain, there is no telling how fast the illness will spread over the course of 2017 for now.
Among the most common symptoms of the flu, patients generally exhibit fatigue, body aches, and fever. In order to fight off the virus, doctors urge the population to get vaccinated as soon as possible. However, there are other methods to keep safe from the infection, says Dr. Goerig.
Good hygiene, cough etiquette, and disinfecting door knobs could keep the flu at bay in the absence of the vaccine. Also, adequate nutrition and hydration make for good preventive measures, adds Dr. Goerig. As of 2016, medical records pulled from Brazos County Health Department show approximately 300 patients contracted the virus at the same time. However, flu cases started to decline as more people got flu shots for the season.
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