Fight against the flu: the hospital and the pharmacy see their season peak | Local News
Flu season is at its peak and it’s not too late to get a flu shot, said Matt Kordi, director of pharmacy Tom Thumb Gainesville.
Since September, Kordi said pharmacists at Tom Thumb in Gainesville have administered more than 2,000 flu shots. While the majority of flu shots were given in October, Kordi said he still averages eight a day.
“I think it’s super important [to get the flu shot]”said Kordi.
Health officials advise getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
Kordi said it takes about two weeks after the injection before it becomes effective.
The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far this season, there have been at least 2.6 million flu cases, 23,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 flu deaths, according to CDC estimates.
In Texas, influenza activity is high statewide, according to a weekly influenza report produced on Dec. 12 by the Texas State Department of Health Services.
Compared to the previous week, the percentage of people who tested positive for influenza reported by hospital laboratories decreased slightly. However, that is not the case in Gainesville, according to North Texas Medical Center spokesperson Kristi Rigsby.
Rigsby said Thursday, December 19, that positive cases had increased since Thanksgiving.
âThere is definitely an increase in positive influenza B cases this year,â Rigsby said.
As of Tuesday, December 17, the NTMC emergency department had three adults and one child tested positive for influenza A and 21 adults and 41 children tested positive for influenza B.
Cooke County Medical Center, 801 N. Grand Ave., did not provide Rigsby with ventilation for adults and children, but reported eight cases of influenza A and 26 positive for influenza B.
Statewide, there have been a total of 5,425 reported cases, according to the TDSHS. There have also been six pediatric deaths believed to have been associated with the flu this season.
Over the past two weeks, Kordi said he has seen an influx of prescriptions for Tamiflu. The pharmacy filled around 30 prescriptions compared to “three” in previous weeks, he said.
âIt’s hectic right now,â Kordi said. “That’s why it’s so important to get it [a shot] before this time.
Tamiflu is prescribed not only to treat the flu, but to help prevent it, according to Kordi.
He said the flu shot should theoretically remain effective throughout the flu season, which he says can sometimes last until May.
âThe flu that’s going on here is really tough on businesses when it comes to manpower and things like that,â Kordi said. âIt’s important that everyone is protected in a small or medium community like this. “
Rigsby said flu shots are recommended until the CDC announces flu season is over.
Maintaining hygiene by washing your hands and disinfecting yourself as much as possible is also essential for staying healthy.
Rigsby said hand washing is “always the best prevention against any virus.”
Flu shots are available at Tom Thumb and Cooke County Medical Center and are covered by most insurers. For more information about the vaccine, call CCMC at 940-612-8750 or le petit poucet at 940-665-7622.