When is Flu Season in Texas?

June 1, 2023

Influenza, or flu, seems to hit every autumn and winter, but it can actually be spread year-round. The virus is highly contagious and spreads through tiny droplets from coughing or sneezing. It can be deadly for those with certain medical conditions.

This year's flu season is a little early, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). It's also "notoriously unpredictable," and fewer Texans will be protected by the vaccine due to COVID-19 vaccine shortages and reduced immunization over the past couple of years.

DSHS reports flu-related hospitalizations are already well above the national baseline. It's the earliest the flu has shown up in our area since 2003-2004, which saw severe illness and even death for many children. The CDC says that it's important for everyone to get their flu shot. The vaccine can reduce the number of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year.

This year's vaccine looks like it'll be a good match with the strains that are circulating, says virologist Richard Webby. But he adds that the vaccine doesn't offer perfect protection, and it can take several weeks for your body to develop full immunity after getting the shot. The DSHS recommends that people get their vaccination by the end of October. The agency says adults 65 and older, those living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities and those with chronic disease and underlying medical conditions should especially consider getting a shot.


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