Kevin Cokely, NBC 5 News
The temperature may be warming up across Dallas-Fort Worth, but health officials to growth in the number of flu-related cases.
The warm weather ahead isn’t going to make the flu season end any earlier.
Community health care clinics are slammed with patients suffering from flu-like symptoms or looking for flu shots.
“The moment that more flu deaths started happening, and more incidences of flu happen, particularly in the Dallas county area, we saw an influx of patients,” says Joleen Bagwell with Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic in Oak Cliff.
Even as the weather turns warmer in the week ahead, doctors warn the flu season is likely to last all the way through April.
“There’s no studies that have shown the weather patterns are going to actually chance the flu epidemic," says Dr. John Carlo, former medical director for Dallas County Health and Human Services.
“We do see flu in areas of the tropics, for an example," says Dr. Carlo, who now chairs the Council of Science and Public Health for the Texas Medical Association.
“So we’re not necessarily whetted to the fact that flu seasons are correlating to colder weather because it certainly happens even in the Caribbean,” says Dr. Carlo.
Dr. Carlo says a flu shot remains the best defense – for everyone.
“The more people who do get that vaccine, the less likely disease transmission is going to occur,” says Dr. Carlo.