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Health expert warns of increased flu activity

The city of Corpus Christi keeps reports of both flu activity and influenza-like Illness on its website, covering a 40-week period.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A state website shows that Nueces County is now reporting an increase in flu activity, while the city of Corpus Christi's website, doesn’t mention it.

It comes at a time when some health officials are also predicting a spike in COVID-19 cases for the winter.

Flu numbers are up, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The most recent report showed 240 positive flu tests reported across the state, as compared with just 31 during the same week last year.

3NEWS asked the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District about how they are keeping track of the numbers. Nueces is one of three counties in the state reporting an increase in flu activity, something Dr. Dante Gonzalez, Assistant Director of the Corpus-Christi-Nueces County Public Health District confirms. 

“We’re seeing the same thing. We’re seeing A and B. That’s one of the programs we do here at the Health Department. We have a flu surveillance team," Gonzalez said. 

‘A’ and ‘B’, meaning both chains of flu are already present in the city.

In recent years, flu numbers have been down, something Gonzalez attributes to the fact that we were more aware of battling COVID-19 at the same time.

He tells us that what worked before will work again.

“We were wearing masks, we were washing our hands, we stayed away from people that were sick, and for a little bit, we kind of forgot to continue to use those prevention methods that really do work," Gonzalez said. 

He added that making any potential flu impact less severe, can happen even as we battle both viruses.

“More important than anything else is to make sure that you stay up on your flu vaccine and make sure that you stay up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines," Gonzalez said. 

For its part, the city of Corpus Christi keeps reports of both flu activity and influenza-like Illness on its website covering a 40-week period.

The website has not been updated since May, something Gonzalez said is about to change.

"This week, actually, is the first week in which we start reporting those numbers," Gonzalez said. "So, the provider starts sending us those numbers, we’re compiling them and putting them together, and then at the end of the week, we publish them on the website that you see.”

The Centers for Disease Control confirms with its most recent data that Texas joins Georgia and the District of Columbia as the three places in the U.S. showing high activity when it comes to Influenza-like Illnesses.

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