Peak of Flu Season Nearing - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Peak of Flu Season Nearing

Other winter viruses circulating now



    It's the time of year when the number of flu cases begins to rise, and doctors say the worst the season is likely just around the corner.

    "If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, I think now is a great time to go ahead and get it," said Dr. Wendy Chung, Dallas County Health and Human Services Department chief epidemiologist. "You have to keep in mind that it does take two weeks for [the] immune system to develop antibodies against the influenza virus after the flu shot."

    Flu surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Texas is just now experiencing local activity.

    And the number of people Googling words such as "influenza" is increasing, too.

    Signs of Flu Arrive in North Texas

    [DFW] Signs of Flu Arrive in North Texas
    Flu surveillance data from the CDC shows Texas is experiencing local flu activities.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012)

    "I do think it may provide another useful tool by which we can follow influenza trends in our community, but you do have to be careful that you don't read too much into something like this," Chung said.

    But influenza isn't the only illness people are battling.

    Emergency doctors at Children's Medical Center of Dallas said they are knee-deep in respiratory syncytial virus cases, an upper respiratory virus that can be tough to treat.

    Lots of People Sick, But It's Not the Flu

    [DFW] Lots of People Sick, But It's Not the Flu
    Health officials say it's not the flu that's going around, but an upper respiratory virus that's relatively short-lived.
    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011)

    "The majority of time kids, get better," Dr. Ken Yen said. "It usually causes a three-week history of coughing, wheezing, congestion. For the young kids -- especially kids who are preemies, kids with heart problems, lung problems -- it can be much more serious."