Influenza, known as “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Most people will have mild illness, but some cases can result in hospitalization or even death.
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
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic medical conditions
- Health care workers
- Individuals who live with an/or care for high-risk individuals
- Where to Get Vaccinated
Flu shots are available at Shots for Tots/Big Shots clinics. For an appointment, please call 512-972-5520.
You can also visit Vaccines.gov to find a location with flu vaccine near you.
- Additional Flu Prevention
In addition to the flu vaccine, there are certain preventative measures an individual can take to prevent the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is unavailable
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or into a tissue
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes
- Avoid others who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick
You may be contagious from one day before and up to seven days after becoming sick. Influenza may present the following symptoms:
- Sudden onset
- Fever or chills
- Cough, sore throat
- Runny or congested nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Severe fatigue
Use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or cough syrup to relieve symptoms. Rest in bed and drink lots of fluids. If you contact your doctor within 48 hours of symptom onset, you may be able to take an antiviral drug, which will reduce the severity of symptoms and length of the illness.
Seek immediate medical attention if a child has trouble breathing, has bluish skin color, is not waking up or interacting. Seek immediate medical attention if an adult has difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, sudden dizziness or confusion, is severely or persistently vomiting, or improves but then gets worse.
Austin-Travis County Influenza Surveillance
The official flu season began on October 3, 2021. The information below contains data through January 8, 2022:
- Weekly Report
- Flu activity in Texas is considered high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports seasonal influenza activity in the United States declined slightly this week but remains elevated and is expected to continue for several weeks. The amount of activity varies by region.
- Influenza A is the most common circulating strain in Travis County. Nationally, Influenza A (H3N2) is the most commonly circulating subtype.
- One adult influenza-associated deaths have been reported in Travis County
- No influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported in Texas
- No influenza-associated outbreaks have been reported so far this season in Travis County
- Please note, some aspects of influenza surveillance may be affected by current COVID-19 response activities
Austin/Travis County influenza surveillance does not capture all cases of influenza or influenza-like illness. Reporting of seasonal influenza is voluntary. These data should be used for trending purposes over time and for identifying types/strains of influenza that are occurring in the Austin area rather than for estimating the total number of cases.
For more information about flu at the state level, please visit www.dshs.texas.gov/IDCU/disease/influenza/surveillance/2019-2020.aspx
For more information about flu at the national level, please visit www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm