SAN ANTONIO -

The good news is that emergency room visits to University Hospital for patients with flu-like symptoms declined dramatically over the last few weeks.

The bad news is that the season won’t officially be over for several months, and could last until May.

Dr. Andrew Muck, who has spent the winter in University’s ER, said the latest numbers reported for the week of Jan. 18 support the idea that flu has peaked.

"We had 48 cases and prior to that, we were closer to 80 (or) 90 ... so the influenza numbers dramatically dropped off. W're hoping that just keeps gliding right on out," he said.

He notes that flu appeared to start a bit earlier than normal and that the symptoms seemed more severe this year.

"It's just been busy. We've seen a lot of sick folks, a lot of the cough, cold, congestion and fever. People just feeling really lousy this year. There just seem to be a lot more cases this year than usual, " Muck said.

Even with the decline in flu cases, doctors are busy seeing patients with flu-like symptoms that are actually a reaction to mountain cedar pollens.

If you didn’t get a flu shot and you haven’t gotten the flu this season, you are not out of danger.

“The CDC still tells us (that) if it's the flu season, which it still is, and you have not had the flu vaccine, get the flu vaccine. Even this late. That's the CDC recommendation," Muck advises.

He also said washing hands and covering your mouth when you cough will help prevent the spread of viruses.

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