Flu season is in full swing across the Rio Grande Valley, and the entire state of Texas.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Texas is one of 15 states to reach the highest levels of flu reports this season.
"I think it's on us to make sure those numbers go down. A lot of it will depend on how fast we respond in terms of getting vaccinated and protecting ourselves and others from the flu,” says Dr. Jose Campos Maldonado.
Maldonado, an infectious disease expert at the UTRGV School of Medicine, says the flu virus can spread quickly at work, school, and even home. He adds that cleanliness and personal hygiene are key to combating the flu.
"Make sure you protect others from the spread of the flu. That means using a tissue instead of coughing into the environment. But the most important thing I want to highlight is the vaccination."
Many in the Rio Grande Valley have yet to get a flu shot, however, it’s not too late, but don’t expect immediate results.
"Ideally everyone should get the vaccine by the end of October, but the virus is still circulating. So I would encourage everybody to still go there and get your vaccine," advises Maldonado.
Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.
Some additional tips to help avoid the flu include:
Getting enough sleep and managing stress. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can weaken your immune system.
Drink more water, even though you may not feel as thirsty during fall and winter.
Eat healthy. Remember to eat the recommended 5-9 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.