Flu season is off to an early and brisk start this year and Texas is one of the states "under the microscope" leading the outbreak.
People sniffling, sneezing, coughing, with headaches and high fevers are already filling emergency rooms and doctors offices in Texas. The Lone Star State is one of the Southern states hit the worst so far and the numbers right here in Southeast Texas are significantly higher than last year.
Since November 1, the Port Arthur Public Health Dept. has seen 48 reported flu cases. The Beaumont Public Health Dept. has received 227 incidents of influenza like illnesses. Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth is reporting it is seeing 40 to 65 people a day with flu like symptoms.
Flu season begins in September and generally peaks in mid January to early February.
Megan Macomber is pregnant and due on December 17. She says, at her doctor's request she got a flu shot Tuesday, "The flu is so bad this year. you know you don't want to be sick when you are pregnant. So it's best not to get anything. It's best to keep yourself healthy that way, you're healthy for your baby."
In addition to getting that flu shot, doctors say, wash your hands as often as you can.
If you do get sick, doctors say you will be down for the count for at least a week. Officials say we haven't seen this high level of flu numbers since 2009. The good news is this year's vaccine is a good match for this particular strain that seems to be the most prevalent right now.