Influenza Update: 12 confirmed deaths in ETX

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 7:52pm

Influenza is the center of attention as flu cases continue to rise, especially here in East Texas. We've had 12 confirmed deaths and hundreds of patients testing positive for the illness in East Texas alone. Doctors have determined that 90 percent of the cases this year are from the H1N1 strain.

Health officials are urging the public to take preventative measures. Doctors urge everyone to get a flu vaccine who is over six months of age.

"It's not too late to get it, we highly recommend it for anyone over six months of age," said Dr. Paul McGaha with the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Many people are worried about getting the vaccine, fearing that it may actually give them the flu. However, authorities say that is not the case.

Influenza can only survive for an hour outside of its human host, so the best tip to avoid getting the illness is to avoid contact with those who are sick. You should also stay home if you are ill, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands often.

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