The number of people testing positive for influenza also is significantly higher than in past years across the state and nation. That compares to 13 at the same time a year ago.
In December 2016, only 15 cases of the flu were reported in Hays County, according to a press release.
Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.
Bogoch said the potential weakness in the flu vaccine's ability to protect against the H3N2 strain is an issue this year, noting he's seen early data suggesting it may be only 10 per cent effective.
The flu shot used the same components as as Australia's vaccine during their flu season that ended in August.
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Not only California but other places also severely affected by influenza.
"All this getting together closely over the holidays and now locked in because of the cold and the snow, that will enhance the transmission of flu", said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University.
One UAB infectious disease physician says this year's flu situation is a lot worse than in years past.
"We don't know, that's the scary thing about the flu".
"In the emergency department, patients are treated based on severity of presentation first", she said.
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Anyone who is particularly at risk - including the elderly and those with heart and/or lung conditions - should seek immediate medical attention if they show flu-like symptoms. Antiviral drugs work best when administered within two days of getting sick.
In Denton County the demand for the flu vaccine has increased in the past month.
The state's top health official is encouraging Hoosiers who haven't gotten a flu shot to get one. "If a person has a flu-like illness without signs of SERIOUS illness, he/she should remain at home".
Cover: Cover your cough and sneeze into your arm or a disposable tissue. Additionally, do not forget to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your nose and mouth as much as possible, and clean and disinfect any surfaces or objects that may be contaminated. She said the flu epidemic has not hit FMC staff too bad, however.
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