Hidalgo County health officials urge residents to get flu shots as hospitalizations increase

2 months 5 days 13 hours ago Saturday, October 01 2022 Oct 1, 2022 October 01, 2022 12:04 PM October 01, 2022 in News - Local

The Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department issued an alert on rising flu-related hospitalizations in the county on Friday.

Twenty-four people are hospitalized with the flu in the county—and three of those individuals are in the intensive care unit, according to the county.

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Melendez says cases have been doubling every seven days over the last few weeks, adding that there could also be thousands of unreported cases. Dr. Melendez says herd immunity is down because the public has not been getting the flu since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

He says the flu was severely underreported during the pandemic, citing COVID-related safety measures that were in place.

Now that those safety measures are being relaxed, Melendez says the flu is kicking into high gear. The best way for the public to stay safe is by getting the flu shot.

"When you have the highest rate in obesity, diabetes, hypertension in the country and when you have the lowest access to healthcare, 40 percent, and when you have among the highest poverty rates in the country: We are a really at risk population and so I would not say that if you are a healthy person that you are free of yourself getting in trouble,” Dr. Melendez said.

On top of getting your flu shot, maintaining your distance, washing your hands and wearing masks are the best way to prevent getting the flu. T

The flu shot can protect you against four different flu strains.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and coughing.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor and get tested.

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