Flu virus spreads across Texas; local doctors urge community to get vaccines

Flu virus spreads across Texas; local doctors urge community to get vaccines. (ABC 7 Amarillo Darra Cunningham)

The Centers for Disease Control reports show from October to January, the flu has spread across the U.S. affecting between six to seven million people. The data shows Texas as one of the top states spreading the disease.

Emergency Medical Physician of ER Now, Dr. Yagnesh Desai tells ABC 7 so far he has seen only a handful of people affected in Amarillo.

"As we start seeing it multiply more we're going to start seeing more positive tests and, of course, Texas being one of the bigger states we're obviously going to have a lot more positive tests just because we have a larger population than some of the other states,” said Desai.

Some of the symptoms include runny nose, coughing, fever and fatigue but there is more.

"We'll see some folks have gastrointestinal symptoms so their coming in with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms may not necessarily be the standard symptoms that you think of when you think you have the flu,” said Dr. Desai.

The CDC also reports over 80,000 people were hospitalized due to the virus. Associate Professor Todd Bell of Texas Tech University Pediatrics Department said the main determination is how many people will get the flu shot.

"Even if you have a flu vaccine and it's a good match, if you don't have many people to take it then that can cause problems to where we have a big flu season," said Bell.

Bell said historically, the Northern part of Texas usually lags behind with the virus but it is important to be prepared.

"Since we don't know when the flu season will end we recommend that people just go ahead and get their flu shot," said Bell. "Right now, for the most part the shot is available across the Texas Panhandle.

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