Back-To-School Could Trigger Outbreak In Flu Cases

Kids are back to school this week which could likely trigger a surge in flu cases.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers talked with a Wichita Falls pediatrician and found up until now this flu season has been pretty mild but, that is expected to change.

Back-to-school after Christmas break means back to sticky fingers, sniffily noses and close corridors.

"Any of the viral infections, strep, flu, when they get back together in closed, confined space, we start seeing an increase in illness," Dr. Duanne Peters said.

She said so far this year, things have been pretty mild.

They are starting to see more flu cases in adults and with the kiddos spending the holidays at home with the family, it's inevitable it will soon spread to fellow classmates.

"Kids in general they are sharing stuff like drinks, cokes and are in close proximity and they don't wash their hands as much or often as they need to," Dr. Peters said.

She said the up side is they had a good response with the flu vaccine this year.

But, if you haven't gotten it yet, you may be out of luck.

"It is getting late. Once it hits the community, there is no point. You need it three weeks before the season hits in order for the vaccine to be active in body."

Dr. Peters said even if you didn't get a flu vaccine there are some ways to protect yourself. But, you have to start now, as she expects the outbreak to hit in about 10 days to two weeks.

"Even though you're not sick now, you're being exposed to it. So, wash your hands, stay healthy, because we are being exposed now and in two weeks you'll be sick," Dr. Peters said.

Keep in mind to always practice good hygiene as adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.

Some kids and others with weakened immune systems might be able to infect others for an even longer time.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6