Flu strikes early this season

CDC warns of 'nasty' flu season

SAN ANTONIO - The flu is striking early and often this year, with an increasing number of cases across the southern half of the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

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It is the earliest start to the flu season since 2003-2004.

"Over the last couple of weeks, we've really seen a dramatic rise in the number of flu cases," said Dr. Evan Ratner, with Impact Urgent Care in San Antonio.

Ratner said a short memory was partly to blame. The last few flu seasons have been relatively quiet, leaving many to put off getting a flu shot.

"Combine that with a pretty virulent strain this year and I think this could be a pretty bad year for the flu,” said Ratner.

The predominate strain going around, according to the CDC, is the H3N2. The strain last made its mark in 2003-2004, a bad year for the flu. 

Symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, nausea and vomiting, a sore throat and a cough.

The best way to avoid the virus is with a flu shot, and experts agree it is not too late.

“This is going to extend for the next couple of months and even if you don’t have a flu shot on board now, there’s still time,” said Ratner.

This season’s shot is reported to be quicker and less painful and the vaccine is a good match. That means the shot is effective against the virus. 

Lastly, Dr. Ratner had this reminder: “The flu shot does not cause the flu. You cannot get the flu from a flu shot.”

The flu season usually peaks in January and February.


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