This year’s flu season seems to be reaching its miserable peak after rising in intensity in recent weeks.
University Health System’s lab this week reported 128 cases of A-type influenza strains and another 13 cases of a B-strain flu during the week ending Feb. 11. That represented a 62 percent increase in A-type flu cases in one week.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on Tuesday reported a similar rise at testing sites throughout the county.
In an interview with KENS TV last week, Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist with UT Health San Antonio and staff epidemiologist at University Health System, advised that anyone who hadn’t yet gotten a flu vaccination should get one. To keep from spreading flu, people should wash their hands often and stay home if they’re sick, he added.
Along with flu, University Health System is seeing other respiratory viruses circulating, including rhinovirus, coronavirus and respiratory syncytial virus.
Influenza is considered the most serious of the cold-weather respiratory viruses that circulate this time of year. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, severe fatigue, chills, sore throat, and a dry cough.
The CDC recommends that almost everyone get the flu vaccine annually. Influenza kills thousands of people each year in the U.S., results in hundreds of thousands admitted to hospitals, and infects millions. Most frequently, the hardest hit are young children, seniors, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.