With 2019 well underway and winter chills rolling in, sniffles and coughs are spreading. Families might be noticing neighbors and children coming down with colds and fevers and wonder if this means the flu is lurking nearby. Widespread flu shots might not be advertised as often, but flu season is still here.
New reports from the CDC and Texas Health & Human Services Department are out which show the current rates of infections involving this season’s influenza. To keep your family prepared for anything the flu might bring, Golden Triangle Emergency Center will be covering these reports and telling you what they mean for your family, as well as how you can lower your rate of infection.
2019 Flu So Far…
Last year, the flu made international news with reports of severe symptoms and infection rates rising. But every year is a new flu virus, and medical scientists are constantly making new strides to improve public health. This year, the flu virus is more contained. According to the CDC’s weekly reports during flu season, the flu is less severe and less infectious than it was last year as a whole.
States, though, also conduct studies to track how the flu spreads throughout their counties, and the Texas Health & Human Services weekly flu report shows that infection rates are actually beginning to rise. To many people, this might seem worrisome since we are already so far into the flu season and having an increased infection rate now sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
Luckily, Texas’s rise in infection rate is small, so even though our weekly numbers on flu infections has gone up, it is not enough to be a state-wide crisis. What these numbers mean is that Texans everywhere need to be mindful to stop the spread of germs and help keep themselves and their families flu-free.
When infection rates rise, that means that more people are getting sick. It is not necessarily an indication that the flu itself is getting more severe, but it does mean that more people are contracting the illness. The flu is a disease that is spread mainly by sneezes, coughs, handshakes, and touching an infected hand or surface and then itching your face or eating a meal. It is easy to spread the flu virus but it is also easy to stop the spread of infection and lower your risks.
To keep your risk of infection down, follow these helpful tips and tricks to navigate cold and flu season:
- Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating any meals. Hand sanitizer can be helpful, too, if you work with children or in an office space where you frequently shake hands and interact with other people.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs in the crook of your elbow when tissues are not available. Sneezing into your hands puts unnecessary germs right onto your palms and makes it easier to spread illnesses between people.
- Stay warm and hydrated with plenty of water. Cold fronts can make it easier for us to get sick and not drinking enough water can weaken your body’s immune system, so make sure you always dress appropriately for the weather and keep hydrated.
- Get a flu vaccine if you haven’t gotten one yet. The flu vaccine can not only help you prevent flu infection, but it can also shorten the duration someone might have the flu or lessen the severity of the symptoms.
While the flu might be hitting Texas now, this doesn’t mean that there is any reason for alarm. Every flu season is different, and GTEC is here to get you feeling better! Armed with awareness and some helpful tricks to avoid the spreading of harmful germs, your family can stay healthy for all of 2019.
In the case of any severe illnesses or emergencies, Golden Triangle Emergency Center is here to help. Our facility is open 24/7 and offers concierge-level care to patients of all ages.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Golden Triangle Emergency Center or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.