Three weeks ago, the flu was isolated in pockets.
Epidemiologists in 36 states reported widespread influenza activity to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu tests aren't accurate and the number of actual flu cases is unknown. UT Health and UT Physicians Dr. Michael Altman said there's no need to report them--unless someone dies.
“Looking at the state, local and national maps, clearly, we’re seeing many more cases of influenza than we did at this same time last year. It’s not at epidemic proportions, but it’s widespread and increasing each month,” said Altman.
The flu vaccine isn’t working like it should.
“From the experts, we’re seeing about only between 10 and 30% effectiveness against the flu, which means the vast majority of cases aren’t being covered by the flu vaccine,” said Altman.
He said it's still worth it to get your flu shot, because having partial protection is better than none because severity of flu will be lessened and symptoms will be less.
He advised to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and cough into your sleeve or fold of your elbow.
Don't go back to work until you've been fever-free for at least 24-hours without medicine.
Locally, there's a shortage of Tamiflu. You might have to call pharmacies to see who actually has it. Flu treatments are only effective if given within 48-hours of symptoms.
About three dozen people have died from the flu in five states.