Houston flu season lingers at moderate level for nearly five months


In the Houston area, the flu season started four weeks before Christmas.

Now it's after Easter and still holding steady.

Kelsey Seybold Clinic immunization practices managing physician Dr. Melanie Mouzoon said according to their data, the flu is still active, but could be tapering down.

Houston has had 18 weeks of the flu season, while the rest of the nation has had 21 weeks.

Mouzoon said it's because we've had warmer temperatures that doesn't keep us cooped up inside spreading germs to one another.

"There's been like three smaller waves of flu, it's been a little bit of everything, instead of a whole lot of one thing and really, nationally just two waves of the A flu and not so much B," said Mouzoon.

She said last week's report had 18 percent tests positive for flu. They consider the season over when it's less than 10 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this flu season is among the longest seen since the government started tracking flu season duration more than 20 years ago.

"This season there has been the pandemic flu that began in 2009, as well as H3N2 that caused so much illness last season. We've got some B hanging in there, as well," said Mouzoon. "Currently the B strain of flu is almost as much as the A strain."

The last flu season was 19-week and reportedly the deadliest in at least four decades. More people were affected and hospitalized.

Compared to an estimated 80,000 Americans who died of flu and its complications last season, the CDC is estimating that flu-related deaths this season in the range of 35,000 to 55,000.

The previous longest recent flu season was 20 weeks, which occurred in 2014-2015.

The normal flu season is about 15 to 20 weeks.


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