A new virus with flu-like symptoms is going around, and it is making people sick for almost two weeks. It leaves you with a dry cough, sore throat and feelings of fatigue.
Cold weather increases your chances of getting sick. More people are indoors, and in crowded spaces.
Doctors say both adults and children need to protect themselves against what's being dubbed the 11 Day Virus.
Flu shots protect patients and fight the spread of influenza, but they will not stop a new virus that is affecting patients from Austin to Houston.
“I have severe congestion in my throat. I feel like in a cloud and it's a really bad time to be sick,” said college student Lauren Poe.
The 11 Day Virus causes runny nose, high fever, dry cough, and fatigue, and can last one to two weeks.
“We've been seeing lots and lots of children with what we call a flu-like illness,” said Dr. Pat Crocker, the Emergency Medicine Director at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.
Crocker says the virus is not an actual strain of influenza. He has diagnosed dozens of patients at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Doctors say there are simple ways to protect against the virus, and the best way is frequent hand washing.
“The patient is ill touches their nose, touches a door know or glass. Then you touch the glass and your rub your eye or nose and you transfer the virus,” said Dr. Crocker.
Antibiotics do not help the virus. Instead, doctors suggest rest and over-the-counter medicine.
While the flu shot will not prevent it, the vaccine will ward off three strains of influenza.
Right now, five percent of Texas children have tested positive for the flu.
The Austin/Travis County Health District offers low cost vaccinations. The entity has given 9,000 doses this flu season.