By Sheri Parr
The flu hit Austin early this year. And, while, it is too early to tell if it will be a short or long season, officials are encouraging the public not to wait to get vaccinated.
Vaccination does not mean you will not get the flu. Doctors at the Austin Regional Clinic are reporting a rise in the number of flu cases but with milder symptoms. And a lower risk of pneumonia, hospitalization, or death.
To prevent the flu, doctors recommend washing your hands in public places, especially before eating, and avoid people who are coughing or not feeling well. Furthermore, if you’re sick, it’s best to stay at home.
According to Austin Public Health Officials, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated for the flu every flu season. High-risk individuals include:
Adults over 65
People with chronic medical conditions
Health care workers
Individuals who live with and/or care for high-risk individuals
Flu shots are available at Shots for Tots/Big Shots clinics for children who are uninsured or Medicaid recipients, and for uninsured adults. The cost of the flu vaccine is $25 for adults, $10 for children, and free for children with Medicaid. For an appointment, please call 512-972-5520.
For those who are insured, visit VaccineFinder.org to find a location with flu vaccine near you.
Winkle, Kate. “Amid Early Rise in Flu Cases, Austin Public Health Urges Vaccinations.” KXAN.com, December 12, 2019. https://www.kxan.com/news/simplehealth/amid-early-rise-in-flu-cases-austin-public-health-urges-vaccinations/.
“Austin Public Health Reports Increased Flu Activity in Travis County.” The Daily Texan. Accessed January 10, 2020. https://www.dailytexanonline.com/2019/11/18/austin-public-health-reports-increased-flu-activity-in-travis-county.
“Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 2, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm.
“Flu in Austin (Influenza).” Home. Accessed January 10, 2020. http://www.austintexas.gov/flu.