Flu season picks up in Panhandle

The flu season is in full swing, and it's not taking any prisoners.

According to the CDC, the flu is widespread in 41 states, including Texas. Texas is also one of the top five states for the highest influenza rates. Here in the Panhandle, we are not exempt.

The Department of Public Health in Amarillo states that in the week of Christmas, there were over 300 positive flu tests reported to the Department of Public Health. That is triple the number from the beginning of December.

Although these numbers are alarming, Doctor Jerry Kirkland states that this is usual for this time of the year. He notes that flu season can run anywhere from November through May and this is a usual time of peak in January thru February.

The best way to prevent the disease is to get your flu shots. Director of the Department of Public Health, Matt Richardson stresses the importance of the shot. "Influenza is a vaccine preventable disease," he states. "It kills between 30,000-40,000 people a year and it's vaccine preventable."

If you haven't done so already, there's still time to go out and get your flu shot.