Tag archives for: Flu,

Man and woman sneezing and coughing

Cold, flu or allergies?

Categories: Emergency care  /  Flu  /  Infections  /  News

SOMETHING is making you sick. And unfortunately, this time of year, it could be any number of things. While you may be miserable regardless of the cause, identifying the problem could make a difference as to how to treat it and feel better sooner. Influenza is the most serious of the cold-weather bugs, mainly because its complications put a lot of people in the hospital. And flu season is well underway in San Antonio. Our University Health System labs are seeing a lot of the A/H3N2 strain — which is the predominant strain this year. Although there’s been concern that …Read More >

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Flu season is near — and it could be a bad one

Categories: Children's Health  /  Flu  /  Infections  /  News  /  Pregnancy

Flu season is just around the corner, and experts predict it could be a bad one. In the Southern Hemisphere, which has an earlier season, the number of lab-confirmed influenza cases was more than double the previous year. In Australia, the virus hit early and sickened record numbers in some areas. “They’re right to be worried about what happened in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist at UT Health San Antonio and Hospital Epidemiologist at University Health System. “We could be seeing a bad flu season here this year. We haven’t had one in a …Read More >

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Flu season becoming intense in Bexar County

Categories: Flu  /  Infections  /  News

This year’s flu season seems to be reaching its miserable peak after rising in intensity in recent weeks. University Health System’s lab this week reported 128 cases of A-type influenza strains and another 13 cases of a B-strain flu during the week ending Feb. 11.  That represented a 62 percent increase in A-type flu cases in one week. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on Tuesday reported a similar rise at testing sites throughout the county. In an interview with KENS TV last week, Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist with UT Health San Antonio and staff epidemiologist at …Read More >

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Cold, flu or allergies?

Categories: Blog  /  Flu  /  Infections  /  Wellness

Many of us are still in a celebratory mood after ringing in the New Year. But for others, it’s been a real struggle trying to get some relief from runny noses, itchy eyes, body aches, coughing and congestion. Could it be you’re dealing with a cold or the flu? Maybe it’s “cedar fever,” the allergic response to the choking haze of mountain cedar pollen, which is most prevalent in South Texas during the winter season. If you’re like me, I suffer from cedar fever every year around this time. I can pretty much recognize the symptoms but not everyone suffers from …Read More >

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CDC recommends rapid antiviral use in suspected flu patients

Categories: Flu  /  Infections  /  News

This year’s flu vaccine is less protective than most years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. They recommend that doctors begin treating suspected flu patients with antiviral drugs immediately, even before tests confirm an infection. The vaccine reduces the risk of having to go to the doctor by only 23 percent, the CDC reported. Since they began tracking that statistic in 2004-2005, health officials have found flu shot protection in any given flu season ranges from 10 percent to 60 percent. The viruses targeted by each year’s flu vaccine are picked months before flu actually hits. This …Read More >

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Paying proper attention to a familiar disease threat

Categories: Blog  /  Children's Health  /  Diabetes  /  Flu  /  Infections  /  Pregnancy

It’s been a busy year for scary, emerging infectious diseases around the world, from Ebola virus disease to MERS, to the hard-to-pronounce chikungunya virus. Maybe because they’re new, they’ve gotten a lot of attention in the media and around the water cooler. But as we’re entering the start of this year’s flu season, it’s worth putting these disease threats in perspective. Influenza is also very serious. It kills some 15,000 Americans each year. It puts hundreds of thousands more in the hospital, and infects many millions. The elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with certain chronic illnesses are at …Read More >

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More illnesses to ponder

Categories: Flu  /  Infections  /  News  /  Wellness

While the Ebola virus has been in the news of late, it’s worth pointing out a few other serious illnesses are actually circulating in San Antonio at the moment. Flu — The first lab-confirmed case of influenza A virus in Bexar County in the current flu season was reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services for the week of Sept. 27. Flu seasons are unpredictable, and it may be weeks before the virus starts to circulate widely (the peak of the season is often in December). Flu is a serious illness, killing as many as 50,000 people a …Read More >

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Keep your family safe from flu

Categories: Blog  /  Flu  /  Infections

This year’s flu season is winding down by all accounts. It’s not over yet — and a bad case of flu is still pretty awful, whether you get it in the middle of flu season or at the end. So it’s still a good idea to wash your hands often, cover your cough or sneeze in the fold of your arm, and — perhaps most importantly — stay home if you’re sick. Just a few days ago we had a sick patient at University Hospital who became even sicker because a visitor probably passed on the flu virus. We saw …Read More >

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Sounding the alarm on flu

When the flu virus tried to sneak into San Antonio a couple of flu seasons ago, it was Kathleen Lawless who sounded the alarm. Lawless, manager of Microbiology Services at University Health System, oversees a staff of 45 medical laboratory scientists and some impressive technology occupying a maze of labs on University Hospital’s third floor. She and her team hunts down and identifies the viruses and bacteria that make people sick. They have plenty of business, in a sprawling healthcare system that handles 830,000 outpatient visits and 22,000 hospital admissions each year. With such a large volume, the lab often …Read More >

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