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Breaking down what the latest report shows about Bexar County flu levels

The most recent influenza report shows "widespread" levels of the flu. Metro Health says it's not too late to get immunized.
Credit: KENS

SAN ANTONIO — The most recent Bexar County Influenza Surveillance Report includes several findings that underscore the importance of preventing the spread of the flu. 

Along with a pediatric flu death, the report showed increases in flu cases and hospital visits compared to the week before—along with rates that are "widespread" in Bexar County specifically, and across Texas as a whole. The largest numbers of cases involved age groups 0-4 and 5-24. The report also revealed zip codes where flu cases were high; you can view the full report here

The City of San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District says it is important for everyone to get vaccinated for the flu, including children, who can be susceptible to serious complications.

"Sometimes they’re very healthy children that there was no reason to suspect their immune system would be weakened enough to cause death but it does," Immunizations Clinic Supervisor Martha Groomer said. "Influenza is a very ugly germ that causes death no matter how old you are."

Groomer says it's important that people get immunized each year since there are different strains of the flu, adding that the first time small children get their flu shots, they'll also need follow-ups.

"We start giving it to them when they’re 6 months old, so if you have an infant who’s 6 months old, they need their flu shot and another a month later," Groomer said.

RELATED: Pediatric flu death confirmed in Bexar County

RELATED: Blood donations requested ahead of flu season

Though Metro Health started giving this year's shot in September, officials say now is still an effective time to get a shot. The county sees some of its highest rates of the flu in January and February.

In addition to getting a flu shot, people can help to stop the spread of germs by washing hands regularly and coughing into the elbow, not on hands. 

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