United Regional detects flu increase this month

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - According to the Center for Disease Control, flu activity sharply increased in the United States, as of December 16.

A map from the CDC shows the state of Texas colored in red, meaning flu activity is high.

"The flu is a viral disease which causes a variety of symptoms including headaches, body aches, and muscle pains," Dr. Lee Rodgers, the United Regional chief medical officer said.

The number of positive influenza cases seen at United Regional Health Care System was low until December.

"Through our hospital system we've had 256 patients with the flu," Dr. Rodgers said.

Out of those patients, two-thirds were under the age of 18.

Some say this years vaccine may be to blame for because of its ten percent effective rate.

However, according to Dr. Rodgers, it's too early to say if that is the case.

"Typically the flu vaccines are effective from ten percent up to eighty percent and it's going to take looking back to see whether we chose the right strain or not," Dr. Rodgers said.

In the meantime, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated even if it only offers a small amount of protection.

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