AUSTIN, Texas - This year’s flu season is shaping up to be the worst the country has seen in three years. Right now, Texas is ranked as one of the top states for reported flu-like cases.
"We are currently experiencing high levels of flu-like illness in Texas. We in public health are concerned that we could have a more severe flu season this year," said Dr. Jennifer A. Shuford, Interim Commissioner for Department of State Health Services.
Flu cases are significantly higher than in previous years in the country. Texas ranks among the top states with the highest flu numbers in the "very high" category.
When compared to this year, the Department of State Health Services says the reason flu seasons from 2020-21 were significantly lower could be tied to COVID precautions people took to keep themselves healthy.
"Likely a result of all of those important precautions that we were taking to stop the spread of COVID-19 and those precautions were necessary to help keep our health care infrastructure intact and functioning and to help keep people safe," said Dr. Shuford.
DSHS says now that those have let those practices up, more people are being exposed to the flu at a faster rate.
The harsh spike in flu cases are said to not be severe cases.
The way the numbers are playing out, public health officials believe cases will just continue to spike. Best advice: get your flu shot.
"A flu shot will keep somebody from getting the flu at all, and, for people who do end up getting flu after the flu shot, their illness is less likely to be a severe illness and less likely to result in hospitalization and death," said Dr. Shuford.