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 (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
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic medical conditions
- Health care workers
- Individuals who live with an/or care for high-risk individuals
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
- 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 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
You may be contagious from one day before and up to seven days after becoming sick. Influenza may present the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Cough, sore throat
- Runny or congested nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea –this is more common in children
Use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or cough syrup to relieve symptoms. Rest in bed, drink lots of fluids and limit contact with others. If you contact your doctor within 48 hours since your symptoms started, you may be able to take an antiviral drug, which will reduce the severity of symptoms and length of the illness. CDC recommends prompt treatment for people who have flu or suspected flu and who are at higher risk of serious flu complications.
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 begins on October 1, 2022. Go to Texas Department of State Health Services to see the latest flu report until Austin Public Health resumes the flu report in October 17th 2022.
Trends in flu surveillance show that influenza appears to occur less frequently during the summer and increases during December through February.
- Weekly Report
- Flu activity in Texas is considered minimal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that seasonal influenza viruses continue to circulate and activity is increasing in parts of the country.
- 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
- One influenza-associated outbreak has 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 the Texas Department of State Health Services' website.
For more information about flu at the national level, please visit the CDC's website