POSTED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:38pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:38pm
TYLER — The Center for Disease Control says flu season is finally getting started -- and it hasn't been this late in nearly 3 decades.
Sylvia Radcliffe with Mother Frances Hospital says here in East Texas, the season usually gets going in January.
"We saw a few cases in January, but just over the weekend, we saw 6 cases of influenza come through the ER," Radcliffe said.
Radcliffe says there could be several reasons for the slow start.
It could be our lack of a winter this year, or maybe more people are just getting their flu shots like they're supposed to.
Aside from the flu, many others are coming down with something they really can't identify.
"The drainage and the...itchy throat...and the sore throat...and you just can't tell from one day to the next whether you have allergies or whether you're...sick," said East Texan Shayne Rinehart.
And experts say, with spring flowers already in bloom, it makes for an earlier and troublesome allergy season -- and it may be longer too.
"We haven't had that cold weather that kills off the mold so that's causing people to have allergy symptoms and in addition to that, I think the tree season and the grass season is gonna be very prolonged so I think we are going to be suffering from now until probably the first or second week in July," said Dr. George Martin, allergist.
Something else bothering folks -- so-called 'super-bugs' that are popping up in national headlines.
Radcliffe has some simple advice as far as multi-drug resistant illnesses go. If you get prescribed an antibiotic -- don't just stop taking it on your own when you feel better.
"The only time you should stop any kind of an antibiotic is if you think you're having some kind of a reaction, you call your physician immediately," Radcliffe said.
Officials across the nation are reporting different cases of Norovirus.
The Health Department in Minnesota believes it was responsible for the bug that kept more than 200 students home in a single day at one school up there.
Of course, experts say the best ways to stay well -- is washing your hands, staying away from sick people and if you're sick, stay away from well people.