Texoma flu season one of the worst in recent years

Published: Jan. 9, 2018 at 6:21 PM CST
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In comparison to the last few nearly ten years, this year's flu season is one of the worst so far in Texoma, and local schools and hospitals are feeling those effects.

"The dehydration, the fevers, the chills, all the stuff, and nobody seems to know how to fix it."

Kim Erbst is a mom of a Denison High School student. She said her and her husband both battled the flu last week.

"My husband just got over it, and I made him sleep way far away from me," she said.

The virus has been running rampant in Grayson County. The Health Department said there have been 151 confirmed cases of Strain A and 23 of Strain B, along with 339 reported flu-like illnesses since Jan. 1.

School nurses like Hilary Roberts at Denison High School are taking precautions.

"We've been proactive about teaching kids ways to prevent flu, like washing hands, cleaning your phone, covering your cough and sneeze," Roberts said.

At Houston Elementary School in Denison, nurse Rachael Ricker said 18 percent of kids are absent this week compared to only five percent before Christmas break, many with rapid onset fever and headache.

Local hospitals are seeing the numbers grow by the week.

"We went from no big deal to, wow, we went real high real fast," said Donna Glenn, the director of Infection Prevention and Control at Texoma Medical Center.

At TMC, 100 people tested positive for A and B last week. And at Wilson N. Jones, there have been 16 positive tests in January compared to 47 total in December.

But Glenn said people should still get their vaccine. She said there can be flu-like side effects like fever and headache, but it's not the flu; it's simply the body's reaction to the vaccine.

The vaccine this year is around 10 percent effective, but can still shorten the length of the illness.

Doctors recommend:

-Stay home

-Wash your hands

-Cover your cough

-Get the flu shot