East Texas schools see effects of flu season

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That's above the region's baseline of 3.3 percent for the past week.

The number is higher than the previous estimate of 250,000 to 500,000, according to the study published by the Lancet, which excludes deaths during pandemics. Almost 90 percent of the specimens that tested positive are of this type.

"The best prevention against the flu is to receive the vaccine". "Even in 2017, Americans die from influenza and influenza-related illness".

However, as Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, pointed out, the flu has potentially serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections.

Those include infants six months and under, Children under the age of five, especially those younger than two, adults 65 and older, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, lung disease, blood disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders, etc., she said.

Getting your flu shot can also contribute to "herd immunity" - less cases of the flu overall means more protection for the most vulnerable people in the population: the elderly, children, and individuals with certain allergies who can't get the vaccine.

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"The earlier we notice strains of influenza, the better we can combat them", he said.

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away, the Centers for Disease Control reports.

"We're just starting to see an uptick", he said. The findings noted that flu activity was low during October, but began to increase once November hit. Some 39.8 percent were vaccinated at this time last season. But many pharmacies now offer them, too.

If you're a health care worker and you haven't gotten a flu shot, you're required to wear a face mask when working with patients. "But it is a wise choice - it's a healthy choice". Vaccines are available at the county health department every weekday, from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Call the health department at 812-481-7050 for information.

"What's predominant now might not be predominant a month from now; and so what's in the vaccine versus what's the predominant strain in the community is going to really determine how effective the vaccine is", Dr. Wallace said. "You can stay away from people that are sick and then help protect others if you are sick by staying away from them".

"Bottom line. Wash your hands, more times than you think".

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