Letter from Epidemiologist Eric Schneider to Commissioners Court, Dec. 8 , 2020:
Good morning Judge and commissioners;
Dating back to 2005, the CDC along with local health departments throughout the United States, have proclaimed the first full week in December as National Influenza Vaccination Week to remind everyone that there is still time to receive your flu vaccine. It is highly recommended that anyone over the age of six months get a flu shot to help prevent an outbreak.
Flu season has already started in Central Texas and to say this year’s season will be unpredictable is an understatement. Coupled alongside a still growing pandemic, many people and their loved ones will be affected by fevers, coughs and fatigue over the next several months.
Every year, Hays County has flu outbreaks in our schools, nursing homes and even places of work. This year, with COVID-19 still very active in Hays County, it will be impossible to distinguish between the two without visiting a physician and having tests performed. This means that even someone with a mild flu case could end up being quarantined for up to 10 days unless they visit a physician, requiring the sick person to spend more money on copays and labs.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get an influenza vaccine every year as soon as it is available to the public. While it’s not 100% effective, as many people find out each year, it increases the antibodies in your body to allow you to fight off the flu quicker and with less severe symptoms.
The Hays County Local Health Department urges everyone to please do their part to protect their family, themselves, and our communities’ most vulnerable populations by getting your flu shot immediately if you have not already. Working together to stay safe, we will get through this unprecedented time.