CDC: Flu cases decreasing in Texas, Austin doctors agree

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 11 at 7:21 PM

AUSTIN -- There is no doubt about it, flu season is in full swing across the country and in Central Texas.

"Oh my gosh, we're seeing all ages," said Scott and White Round Rock Urgent Care Clinic Doctor Yoon Sin Kim, D.O.

Local pharmacists say the most common drug to treat it is flying off the shelves.

"In the last 10 days, Tamiflu has gotten quite popular," said pharmacist Tom Schnorr, RPh CNN, owner of Austin Compounding Company.

But the worst of the 2012-2013 flu season may be over. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting a decrease in cases, and at the Scott and White Round Rock Urgent Care Clinic, fewer patients are coming in.

"After December I would say we saw maybe a decrease of cases about 10 or 15 percent," said Dr. Kim.

Doctors at the Seaton Family of Hospitals say they have also seen a slight decrease in cases, but don't stop taking your vitamin C just yet.

"It's still with us and growing. Right now the CDC has all but three states listed as critical," said Schnorr. "Texas is one of the criticals."

Still, Schnorr says Austin and the surrounding cities are lucky. This time around, the flu season started about a month earlier than normal, and there haven't been as many cases reported in Austin compared to bigger Texas towns.

"The big question that we have right now is since it started early, will it end early?" added Schnorr.

If you don't have the flu, there are some simple things you can do to make sure you don't get it. Of course doctors say you should wash your hands and avoid touching your face, but pharmacists also recommend people start pumping up on vitamin C as well as vitamin D, and if you haven't gotten a flu shot, it might not be a bad idea to go get one now.

"People say is there's enough flu vaccine this year? Plenty," said Schnorr. "Is the strain matching the strain virus that's out there? Yes it is this time -- our first time in seven years."

Or if the shot is not an option, Schnorr recommends a homeopathic anti-flu pill which doesn't contain some of the actual virus like the shot. 

If you are one of the people who is fighting off the flu, pharmacists say over-the-counter drugs combined with lots of fluids, vitamins C and D, and even a few Neti Pot treatments should help you feel better, but if you are having problems breathing, you should go to the doctor. 

Whatever you chose to do, doctors and pharmacists alike recommend you just do something to stay healthy and flu-free.

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