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Number of flu cases increasing dramatically in Southeast Texas
BEAUMONT - The number of flu cases is increasing dramatically across Southeast Texas, according to information provided to KFDM News by the Beaumont Public Health Department.
KFDM's Haley Bull will have more on the story tonight at 5, 6 and 10.
Sherry Ulmer, R.N., the Director, told us there were 20-30 cases last week and that number is up to more than 70 this week.
She says two of the flu cases are the H1N1 strain.
Ulmer says the number is only a snapshot of the community and there are many more cases that haven't been diagnosed.
She told us the increase is expected at this time of year. The number of cases usually peaks by January or February.
There are some things you can do to avoid coming down with the flu or minimize the symptom. She says it's important to get a flu shot, stay home from work or school if you have the flu, and thoroughly wash your hands.
From City of Beaumont:
Beaumont, Texas- The level of flu-like illnesses in Beaumont is significantly increasing, and the city's Public Health Department is urging citizens who have not yet gotten a flu shot to get vaccinated.
Getting vaccinated for influenza is a safe and effective way to prevent the disease, and it is not too late for citizens who have not been vaccinated to do so. This year's vaccine includes the H1N1 2009 strain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 23,600 people die each year of complications associated with the flu. The Health Department recommends everyone 6 months old and older get vaccinated. It is especially important for people older than 65, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic health conditions to get vaccinated, because they are most at risk for complications.
In addition to vaccination, other precautions play an important role in preventing the spread of flu, and can make a difference in its impact on the community: wash hands frequently; avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth; and always sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.
It also extremely important to stay home from school or work if you feel you are ill. Please seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- difficulty breathing
- pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- sudden dizziness
- flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a worse cough
Citizens who wish to get vaccinated for flu may do so at the Public Health Department, their physician's office, or any pharmacy that offers the vaccine. The Beaumont Public Health Department is located at 950 Washington Blvd. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is a nominal fee for the shot. For more information, call 409-654-3645.