Influenza (Flu)

Influenza is a respiratory illness that is common between October and March every year. The peak of influenza season is most often in February, but it has seen peaks as early as December. Symptoms of influenza include: 

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
The best method for preventing infection with influenza is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is not 100% effective, but getting vaccinated will not only reduce the chances of infection, but can also reduce severity of the illness if it is contracted. It is important to note that there is a 14 day period between the time that the vaccine is administered and when it is fully effective (CDC, 2017). Prevention measures include: 

  • Vaccination
  • Regular hand-washing 
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoiding people who are ill
If you do contract influenza please remember that it is very contagious and that the best things you can do if you become ill are:

  • Remain home when you are ill 
  • Keep your children home if they are sick 
  • Cover your cough
  • Wash your hands
For more information about influenza visit the CDC's Influenza page

Below is the data for the 2017-2018 influenza season which began in October and is ongoing. Data is submitted to the Health District form multiple facilities, but not all possible locations where influenza patients may be seen so this is a sample of the total to demonstrate trends. Data is updated through January 14, 2018 and will be updated as data becomes available. 

confirmed flu 18
Figure 1: Confirmed influenza cases October - January 14, 2018

ILI 19
Figure 2: Suspected influenza cases October - January 14, 2018

Diagnosis

Total (Oct 1, 2017 – January 14, 2018)

H1N1

132

Flu A

596

Flu B

476

ILI

3,809

Table 1: Totals for 2017-2018 Influenza season in Bell County, TX

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2017) Influenza preventative steps. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm