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Hundreds of positive flu and RSV cases reported in the Coastal Bend

Health experts say getting a flu shot and safe practices are the best defense against illness this flu season.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District and Driscoll Children's Hospital are both reporting a rising number of RSV and flu cases.

The health district reported 674 positive flu cases in Nueces County last week, a significant increase from just 53 during the same week in 2021.

Local health experts are currently reporting hundreds of flu and RSV cases weekly. They said there is no specific treatment for RSV and young infants and the elderly are the most at risk. As for the flu, they said the best way to fight it is the vaccine.

Public Health Director Dr. Fauzia Khan attributes the rise to people easing up on health precautions taken last year because of COVID-19. She said the county does not track RSV, but that other data also shows an increase.

 "We have learned from DSHS data that the cases are on the rise, so if your child is having shallow breathing, cough, fever, runny nose, please reach out to your provider," she said.

Dr. Jaime Fergie is the director of infectious diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital. He said there is a larger population than usual of people susceptible to RSV since people were taking extra steps to watch their health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All of the measures were extremely good at preventing all sorts of viral infections, including RSV, including influenza. Now, as you can notice and everybody in the community notices it, we're not doing this anymore," he said.

Driscoll Children's Hospital currently has more than 100 positive tests of RSV a week. Right now, there are 10 children admitted in intensive care being treated for it. Since young infants and the elderly are the most at risk, he said families need to be careful around people who appear sick to not bring it home with them.

 "Very large number of RSV combined with a very large number of influenza and that makes it really difficult to handle this surge of individuals coming to our emergency room," he said.

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