The flu is particularly nasty this year, with reported cases in all 49 contiguous U.S. states and at least 2,300 flu-related deaths in Texas alone.
The virus is spread from person to person and can live up to 48 hours after being left on a surface.
According to the Texas Department of Health Care Services, this year’s dominant flu strain – H3N2 – is known for having more hospitalizations and complications.
Children under the age of 5, adults over age 65, pregnant women, people who are smokers or those with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.
The season is nearly half over, but doctors are still encouraging anyone who still hasn't gotten a flu shot to do so – even those who have already had the flu.
The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department is offering free vaccinations on a first-come, first-served basis.
Why is this year's flu season worse than previous years? What are the symptoms and when should you seek medical attention?
Besides getting a flu shot, what can you do to protect yourself from the virus?
- Anita Kurian, assistant director for communicable disease for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
- Dr. David Gude, Texas Med Clinic physician and member of the Bexar County Medical Society
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