Health Officials: Flu Cases on the Decline in the Texas Panhandle

AMARILLO - After seeing a peak in local flu cases, officials say it's now on the decline. 

Flu season is typical during the winter.

"We usually see the flu season from October through March or early April. This is when we kind of expect to see a spike in cases," said Donald Hubbard, M.D., Neighbors Emergency Center Amarillo Medical Director.

But it can still linger on through the summer. 

Health officials say they saw a rise about a few weeks ago.

"We had a peak in late February for flu and strep cases in the Texas Panhandle. It is down somewhat from the peak in February. We are still seeing quite a number of flu and strep. However, last week I haven't seen any this week being Monday," said Hubbard.

But despite the downward trend, Doctor Hubbard says it's been a lot busier this year than last. 

He says we had a very large flu season in 2015, while in 2016 we didn't really see much of the flu. 

"Some of it may have to do with how well the flu immunization works. Some years it works pretty well, some years it doesn't. There's no specific reason why that is. I do recommend getting the flu shot though because I see tons of people with flu every year and I haven't had the flu in many years," said Hubbard.

Another measure to consider to not getting the flu and strep throat: soap and water.

When it comes to trying to track strep cases, Doctor Amanda Griffin, with Texas Tech Physicians, says it's not a reportable illness.

So it's a little bit harder to get a sense of a peak period.

Doctor Griffin also says strep does tend to run late during the fall, winter, and spring as well.

It's most common in school-aged children and is spread by direct contact.


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