Behind the scenes: how Grayson Co. is helping residents fight the flu

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GRAYSON CO., TEXAS -- The flu outbreak is impacting many of us, whether we have the virus or are trying to ward it off.

This afternoon, News 12 got an exclusive behind the scenes look at how the health department helps us fight the flu -- logistically.

From their conversations today, Grayson County health officials say our flu season might have peaked early, something they call "week 52." The last week of the year saw high numbers of flu-like illnesses in Texoma.

Health Department Director John Teel says the flu might have already reached a high, but he says it could hit another peak in February.

"There are years where there have been more than one peak," Teel said.

From Director John Teel's office, the health department is helping fight the flu.

They're checking in with area school districts and hospitals, getting a tally of how many flu cases are out there and and whether i'ts getting better.

"Some are seeing an increase, some it's about the same and some a slight decrease," Teel said.

Among the eleven school districts they oversee, only one is experiencing high absenteeism due to flu-like illness.

And despite the national flu epidemic, county hospitals here have not been as overwhelmed with the flu like they have been in recent years.

"They're seeing less in-patient activity for flu than in 2010 and 11," Teel said.

But hospitals are seeing patients with secondary bacterial infections that flare up after the flu, like staph, strep and pneumonia.

"Typically the 30,000 or so Americans who die every year from the flu, what ended their life is a secondary bacterial infection," Teel said.

Thousands of Texomans are trying to prevent those illnesses with flu vaccines.

"I would say we're probably at the 4,300 individuals who've come in," Jeff Lillis, also with the health department, said.

Doctors say the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is by getting a flu shot.

Teel says it appears the virus has already peaked in Texoma, but he adds to be prepared for another potential peak.

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