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. 

It's time to get your flu shot

Flu TrendsFlu Symptoms | Flu Treatment | Flu Vaccine | Where To Get Vaccinated | Flu Prevention

Flu Trends in Austin-Travis County

Percent Positivity of Flu Tests

Week Ending: Nov. 19

25.16 % 


Percentage of Visits Due to Influenza-like Illness Reported by Travis County

 

ILI stands for influenza-like illness, which is defined as a fever ≥100° F with a fever and/or sore throat.

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.

Flu SymptomsA young girl with a blanket on a couch holding a tissue to her nose.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough, sore throat
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea –this is more common in children  

You may be contagious from one day before and up to seven days after becoming sick.

What To Do If You're SickA young child being examined at a doctor's office.

  1. Use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or cough syrup to relieve symptoms.  
  2. Rest in bed, drink lots of fluids and limit contact with others. 
  3. If you contact your doctor within 48 hours since your symptoms started, you may be able to take an antiviral drug.

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. 

CDC recommends prompt treatment for people who have flu or suspected flu and who are at higher risk of serious flu complications. 

The following statement is from Austin Public Health, Ascension Seton and St. David's HealthCare issued on Oct. 18, 2022:

"Dell Children's Medical Center, part of Ascension Seton, and St. David’s Children's Hospital are currently experiencing a greater number of patients in pediatric emergency departments. We are seeing a spike in respiratory illnesses among children, not just in Central Texas, but nationwide. Many children experiencing symptoms consistent with upper respiratory illness can receive care at a doctor’s office or urgent care clinic.

Having the capacity to safely care for all patients is essential to providing ongoing healthcare services to our community, and we are asking for the community’s help.

It is important that we reserve our emergency departments for patients with emergent medical conditions. We are encouraging parents to access the most appropriate site of care for their child’s medical needs. If a child has flu-like symptoms, parents should call their pediatrician or take their child to an urgent care clinic. If they are having trouble breathing or have some other type of related emergent condition, they should go to an emergency department."

Flu Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated for the flu every flu season. High-risk individuals include:

  • Adults 65 years and older Children younger than 5 years

For people 65 years and older the CDC recommends:

A higher dose flu vaccine called, Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and Flublok Quadrivalent flu vaccine) or adjuvanted flu vaccine (Fluad Quadrivalent vaccine) over standard-dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. If higher dose flu vaccine is not available, people 65 years and older can get the standard-dose flu vaccine instead. Don’t get a nasal spray vaccine.

  • 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 children who are uninsured or Medicaid recipients, and for uninsured adults. 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.

You can also visit Vaccines.gov to find a location with flu vaccine near you.

Download a flyer on flu vaccines in English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 (简体).

Additional Flu Prevention

In addition to getting the flu shot, take these actions to prevent the flu:

  • Avoid others who are sick
  • 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
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with flu

Austin-Travis County Influenza Surveillance

The official flu season began on Oct. 2, 2022. Data may fluctuate due to numerous data feeds. The information below contains data through Nov. 19, 2022:

Weekly Report
  • Flu activity in Texas is considered very high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that seasonal influenza is elevated across the country.
  • One adult influenza-associated death has been reported in Travis County.
  • Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported in Texas.
  • Eight influenza-associated outbreaks in schools 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.

Number Tested and Percent Positive Rapid Influenza Tests by Week

Percentage of Visits Due to Influenza-like Illness Reported by Travis County

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.


Additional Resources

For more information about flu at the state level, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services' website

For more information about flu at the national level, please visit the CDC's website.

Check out our Flu Social Media Toolkit with messages in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese. Please download social media graphics for diverse populations here.