Tag archives for: Flu,

Young woman taking care of older woman with the flu

The flu can raise the risk of heart attack

Categories: Flu  /  Heart Health  /  News

The news about flu this season just keeps getting worse. Not only has this been a really bad influenza season by most accounts, but a newly published study now adds a lot more evidence to the notion that flu also raises the risk of heart attacks — a life-threatening connection that was long suspected but never proven. The study by Canadian researchers, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined test results from nearly 20,000 adults in Ontario with lab-confirmed flu between 2009 and 2014, and matched them to hospital records. That allowed them to see which patients with lab-confirmed flu had heart attacks. They found patients …Read More >

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Woman with flu in warm socks surrounded by used tissue, medicines and hot tea

Yes, it’s a wretched, awful, miserable flu season this year

Categories: Emergency care  /  Flu  /  Infections  /  News

If you thought flu season was bad this year, here’s a little confirmation. It’s bad this year. An early season and a troublesome flu strain have sickened a lot of people in our community, and across the country. It’s been setting some records at University Health System, where the virology lab is reporting total weekly numbers of cases approaching the volumes seen during the swine flu pandemic in 2009, with 273 positive cases the week ending Jan. 6. Most of those were University Health System patients, and the numbers are likely deceptively low because when flu is in full swing, …Read More >

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Man and woman sneezing and coughing in winter sweaters while sitting on their couch in their home

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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A sickly older man leans over a bowl with a towel draped over his head

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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A tired and messy old man puts his head in his hand with disappointment

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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A tired and messy old man puts his head in his hand with disappointment

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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A young boy and his mother smile as a kind pediatrician gives him the flu shot

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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A female RN administers a flu shot to a young girl

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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A woman with short red hair blows her nose with a tissue to clear her allergies

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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A sneeze in progress, revealing the plume of salivary droplets as they are expelled in a large cone-shaped array from a man's open mouth

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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