Flu already proves deadly in the Valley

Flu Vaccine

The peak season for the flu is not until February but already the Rio Grande Valley is seeing several cases including one death.

Dr. Brian Smith with Texas Health and Human Services says the person who died from complications of the flu last month-- was between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.

While Smith did not release any more details regarding the death he did say there have been several cases already reported-- however exact numbers are not yet known.

Smith says you can actually catch the flu anytime of the year but they do see numbers rise when school starts.

These early cases don't necessarily mean this flu season will be worse than the last but as the holidays approach, the number of cases is expected to continue to increase.

"We tend to peak in February but the vaccine is here and it TMs available. Now is the time to get your vaccine because you don't know who you are going to get on the airplane with. You just don't know. It could be anytime, anywhere, Smith said.

While the federal government shutdown has closed the Center for Disease Control, who distributes the vaccines across the country, it will not affect vaccine availability in Texas.

The CDC recommends the following tips to help prevent the spread of the flu virus:

Take measures to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid contact with sick people. If you do become sick, stay at home until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.