By: Sherrie Shorten
AUSTIN – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza-like illnesses have seen an uptick across the country during the last 6 weeks when compared to previous years.
Anyone feeling ill or experiencing flu symptoms should stay at home and contact their healthcare provider. There are effective anti-viral treatments available by prescription for the flu, which are highly recommended for people at higher risk of flu complications, such as people with asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.
Other ways people can protect themselves and the people close to them from the flu is to wash their hands often, cover their coughs and sneezes and stay home if they don’t feel well.
For those planning to travel for Thanksgiving, Dr. Jennifer Shuford, TxDSHS Interim Commissioner says, “It’s especially important to get vaccinated now since it takes the body two weeks after vaccination to fully produce antibodies to fight flu.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services encourages Texans to get vaccinated now to protect themselves and their families from the flu as the holidays approach.
“Vaccination remains our best defense against severe illness from flu, especially for more vulnerable populations like older adults, very young children, people with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS Interim Commissioner. “That’s why we recommend that everyone six months and older receive their flu vaccine each year.”
The flu vaccines for this 2022-2023 season have undergone substantial changes since last season, which will allow them to better protect against the flu viruses that are now circulating.
Eligible Texans can safely and conveniently get their flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster at the same time. The updated COVID-19 booster is designed to protect against the Omicron variants, which are causing the most COVID-19 illness in Texas right now.
Visit Vaccines.gov to find locations near you where the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster doses are available.