CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas is being hit the hardest by the flu right now.
In fact, the Nueces County Health Department said the number of flu cases has doubled since last year.
Officials are urging everyone who can to get the influenza vaccination. The cold weather causes the perfect conditions for the flu virus to spread like wildfire.
"A lot of people are indoors because they can't be out in the cold, and just a lot of close contact," nurse Belina Granados said.
All it takes is one cough, a sneeze and unwashed hands for someone with the flu to transmit the virus to someone else.
"Stay away from people who are sick. Good hand washing, stay indoors if you're sick, try to isolate yourself from others," Granados said. "Cover your nose when you a cough or sneeze."
According to the CDC, Texas is in the red for the number of flu cases. That prompted health departments all over to urge residents to get the influenza vaccine.
"It can cause you to be hospitalized, miss work, school, and it could also be fatal where it causes death," Granados said. "Vaccination is the first best prevention."
Health Department officials have been visiting schools and educating children about the virus by posting flyers and explaining why vaccination is the best line of defense.
"We just want to get the information out there, and that's the key. Education," Granados said.
Granados said there are a lot of misconceptions about the flu vaccination. People often believe that they get sick from the shot, but that is not the case because the immunization has an inactive copy of the virus.
Granados encourages everyone to get the flu shot, especially a particular group of people.
"High-risk people. People who have chronic health conditions. Your pregnant women," Granados said.
Also, parents who have children under the age of six months old.
"The adults that are around them, it's important they get protected because there's no vaccine for those children," Granados said.
Even though the Texas Department of Health said one person has died from the flu in Texas this season, people should never dismiss the following symptoms.
"It's cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, fever, aches," Granados said. "You can also have vomiting, diarrhea."
People can get their flu shot at the Health Department for $20 per vaccination and any one who is six months or older can be protected from the flu.
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