Officials are seeing an earlier-than-usual rise in second wave of flu in East Texas
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In the U.S. the peak of flu season is typically between December and February. In many parts of the country, according to the CDC, flu activity is rising now, at the end of March.
Russell Hopkins is the Director of Public Health Emergency Preparedness for NET Health. He said about three weeks ago physicians, clinics, and ERs began reaching out to them.
“We started to hear, ‘hey, have you started to hear flu is going up? My number of cases and testing has increased,’” he said. “And sure enough we saw that in the state’s data that East Texas was starting to see a rise. We’ve not returned to pre-pandemic levels of flu, but there’s probably a two to four percent rise above last year’s.”
Hopkins said prior to the pandemic, East Texas usually saw a peak in flu cases near the second week of January. A second wave would normally come around mid-April.
“This year is a little bit different in that we still have the same peak, but we’re seeing a rise a little bit early in the secondary wave.”
He said this could be because we just went through omicron and people were staying vigilant. But that kind of diligence may have gone down.
“I think that may have gone away, and then that’s contributed to a recent rise, I wouldn’t call it a surge, but certainly a rise in the number of cases,” Hopkins said.
Reporting for the flu is much like COVID, Hopkins said, in that it’s a little bit delayed.
“I believe we’ve already seen the peak of this rise and we’re starting to slow down again,” Hopkins said.
People can still go to their 815 North Broadway location for the flu shot.
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