AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo’s Department of Public Health says about 3,200 residents have been diagnosed with the flu so far this year.
For the fifth week in a row, flu cases in Amarillo have increased, with over 1,000 confirmed cases for the week ending on February 2nd.
The city says this is normal flu activity, but there is a trend - more than 80% of cases are one strand.
“Last year we saw more Flu B, this year we’re seeing more Flu A,” said Casie Stoughton, Director of Public Health for the City of Amarillo. “Again, we do expect it this time of year. Last year, at this time, we had about 3,600 cases of flu reported to our Public Health Department. We’re just a little under where we were at the same time last year.”
Since the beginning of the year, over 7,000 residents have been diagnosed with Influenza-Like-Illness, keeping doctor’s offices filled with people hoping for some relief.
“It usually hits pretty fast and hard,” said Cherity Mays, Nurse Practitioner at BSA CareXpress. “Most people can walk in and tell you exactly when they started feeling bad because that’s how the flu hits. So rest, treat your symptoms, there’s not a whole lot you can do for the flu except for treat your symptoms and increase the fluids.”
Medical professionals are urging people to stay home, as they say more people are coming in on their lunch break and planning to return to work while kids are hoping to make it to sports practice.
“Sometimes the fever breaks, but they still don’t feel good,” said Mays. “It’s just better off them missing school, then going back because then it just continues to be a process of reinfecting everybody."
While you may hear it every year, officials say it’s critical to get your flu shot to build as much of a resistance against severe side effects.
“What that does is it really creates a fortress around our community so that those germs and diseases can’t get into our community,” said Stoughton. “When we have a well-vaccinated population, we’re able to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”
If you’re interested in tracking the flu trend in the city, you can visit the Public Health Department’s website for the latest.