Flu Activity Very High & COVID-19 Still Prevalent Ahead of Holiday Season

AUSTIN, Texas – There is significantly to be grateful for this season as we make strides in the struggle versus COVID-19, but now we deal with another risk. Austin General public Health (APH) epidemiologists are monitoring alarming higher respiratory virus traits, specially small children in the hospital. As buddies and family members get jointly for holiday break celebrations, it is vital to think about individuals who are at increased hazard for bad results need to they get ill. Get up to day with flu and COVID-19 vaccines, stay home if you truly feel sick and take preventive actions to minimize the unfold of viruses indoors.

Crisis rooms in the location are inundated with sufferers struggling from upper respiratory health problems. The flu positivity level in Travis County for the most latest reporting interval is 26.88{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0}. It can be typically below 10{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} at this stage in the year. The share of visits to wellbeing care providers owing to flu-like disease is 8{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0}–substantially higher than at this point the very last handful of decades (see graph below). The Centers for Condition Manage and Avoidance (CDC) endorses seasonal flu pictures for anyone 6 months and older.

“If you have not by now, be sure to get your seasonal flu shot,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Overall health Authority. “If we can restrict the prevalence of these viruses in our local community, it will assist our already quick-staffed overall health treatment method care for higher-risk patients.”

Percentage of Visits Due to Influenza-like Illness Reported in Travis County (Week 45)

Every person 6 months and more mature is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Extra than 71{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} of those eligible in Travis County have done their primary COVID-19 vaccination collection. Only about 37{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} have gotten a booster or third dose. The CDC recommends absolutely everyone 5 and older get an up to date (bivalent) booster shot. Up-to-date boosters offer broader protection versus newer COVID-19 variants which includes BA.5 which is predominant in Travis County.

Stay house if you’re feeling unwell. The chance of spreading viruses is heightened in the course of indoor group gatherings. If you’ve been uncovered to an individual with COVID-19, the CDC recommends masking and tests at minimum five days just after publicity. If you have COVID-19, remain dwelling and isolate from others for at the very least 5 times.

“Family members and buddies who have not viewed each and every other for years mainly because of the pandemic may perhaps be obtaining together for the holiday seasons. While this is a time to celebrate, we simply cannot permit our guard down,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “Continue on to adhere to the classes we have acquired to maintain you and loved kinds safe and out of the hospital.”

If you’re web hosting guests this getaway time, consider approaches to enhance ventilation. Make certain it’s quick for readers to wash their hands with cleaning soap and drinking water or use hand sanitizers. You may possibly also decide on to wear a effectively-fitting mask to shield on your own and loved types who might be at large possibility of critical ailment. 

Media Toolkit 

APH has compiled overall health and basic safety messaging for the impending vacation period. Obtain the media toolkit and help us share greatest practices to mitigate the unfold of sicknesses. 

Vaccine Suppliers 

Visit Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) to discover flu and COVID-19 vaccine vendors close to you.    

No cost COVID-19 exams 

At-household COVID-19 test kits are accessible at APH Neighborhood Centers while provides past. The Division of Wellbeing and Humans Expert services lists community-based mostly screening sites on the net

Free masks (N-95 respirators) 

Use the CDC’s mask-locator tool to uncover pharmacies in the vicinity of you that offer totally free masks (N-95 respirators). It does not demonstrate present-day inventories, so check with the area for availability. 

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About Austin General public Health  

Austin Public Health is the wellness section for the City of Austin and Travis County. Austin Community Well being is effective to avoid ailment, promote wellness and safeguard the perfectly-getting of all by checking and blocking infectious disorders and environmental threats and educating about the gains of preventative behaviors to prevent serious conditions and boost overall health results.