Complete coverage of the flu outbreak in North Texas

This Season's Flu Strain Targets People Ages 18-49

By Ray Villeda
|  Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014  |  Updated 11:48 AM CDT
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There is a new warning from doctors about the flu this season. For the first time in years, doctors are reporting more and more patients coming in between 18 and 49 years of age.

Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News

There is a new warning from doctors about the flu this season. For the first time in years, doctors are reporting more and more patients coming in between 18 and 49 years of age.

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There is a new warning from doctors about the flu this season. For the first time in years, doctors are reporting more and more patients coming in between 18 and 49 years of age.

Dr. Cedric Spak specializes in infectious diseases at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. He said the flu is prevalent, and that's one reason they believe so many folks across the board are getting it. Also, a lot of young adults aren't getting the vaccine to prevent getting the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said for the first time in years, H1N1 is the dominant strain circulating. That strain is sickening younger and middle-aged folks. 

"We think part of that is because when the flu changes, those people that are in the middle don't have any immune memory, because previous flu's they got exposed to as healthy teenagers or 20 year old's, those flu's are now gone," said Spak.

He cautions that with New Years' celebrations around the corner, and so many people in tight spaces, it's a good idea to get the shot,

"It could be casual contact, sharing a drink, that's exactly what the flu loves," he said.

While North Texas is seeing a spike now, Spak said it's likely there could be another spike in the next few weeks. Typically the flu season spikes in January or February.


Flu Outbreak
Complete coverage of a widespread outbreak of influenza during the 2013-2014 flu season in North Texas. Click here for more.

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