By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
There have been more cases of the H3N2 strain, part of Influenza A, which some say is a harder strain to vaccinate against, according to experts at Austin Regional Clinic. ARC reports that flu A has been high for several weeks and now there is a rise in flu B cases.
From Jan. 21 -27 at ARC, 4,886 tests were run and 2,067 were positive for flu, or 42 percent. For the same week in 2017 at ARC, 1,310 tests were run and just 312 were positive for flu, or 12 percent.
This year’s year’s flu is different than last year.
“Flu season started earlier than recent years. We have also seen more cases of the H3N2 strain, part of Influenza A, which is a harder strain to vaccinate against,” said Serena Hon, family medicine doctor at ARC Wilson Parke.
Hon offers some reminders to protect against getting the flu.
“Your best line of defense is the flu vaccine,” Hon said. “It can protect you enough so that, even if you get the flu, you are less likely to get seriously sick. And the sooner you get the shot, the better since it takes two weeks to build immunity.”
Hon also said to wash hands frequently, cover mouth with elbow when coughing or sneezing, keep away from anyone who may look sick and, most importantly, stay home if feeling sick.
“Flu is not abating. There will still be lots of flu in February,” Hon said.
Jan. 21 -27
Total tests = 4,886
Flu positive = 2,067
Flu A = 1354
Flu B = 713