Flu Virus Cases on the Rise Statewide

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WESLACO – The flu virus is on the rise across the Rio Grande Valley. The entire state is entering the second week with peak levels for influenza activity.

Officials refer to it as a widespread outbreak. It’s the highest level of flu activity.

In Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties flu tests are turning positive at higher rates.

It’s just that time of year; sneezing, coughing and the spreading of viruses. Texas is currently riding a wave of a widespread flu outbreak.

“A very infectious disease and it's easily spread, you know it's a respiratory virus so it really just depends on how people travel and circulate and how many precautions people are taking,” said Lara Anton, press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Anton says we’re vulnerable to the respiratory virus beginning in October. Peak season runs from December to March, a wide window for the evolving infection.

“Changes each year when the peak is and which strain of flu circulating,” she said.

There are ways to stay ahead of the illness. Anton recommends getting vaccinated.

You can also follow these simple steps:

  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes

If it’s too late and you’ve already contracted the virus, Anton suggests, “Going to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible because there are medicines called antivirals that can be taken and that can shorten the duration and lessen some of the symptoms.”

The sooner you seek treatment, the more effective the medication.

The numbers reported by the Department of State Health Services are compiled by percentage of patient visits due to influenza-like illness and samples that test positive for the virus by hospitals and labs.

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