Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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January 17, 2014

Flu strikes HC

ETMC, local doctors see steady stream

Athens — With temperatures dipping into the 30s most nights, you or someone you know has probably been battling flu-like symptoms.

Beginning in late 2013, Henderson County has reported confirmed cases of the flu, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The disease usually peaks in January and February, and can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

TDSHS says every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. It can be fatal, with 90 percent of the deaths coming to people 65 years and older.

TDSHS reports flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Anyone who gets the shot today would be protected for the final six weeks of winter.

East Texas Medical Center and area doctor’s offices are reported to be seeing a steady stream of patients, who have either the flu or upper-respiratory infections, including COPD, congestive heart failure and pneumonia, that might produce some of the same symptoms.

TDSHS reports that flu continues to be widespread in the state, and has been throughout the first three weeks of 2014.

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