Houston dodges the flu bullet

Houston dodges major outbreak of flu
— reported by the Houston Chronicle

Two-thirds of the way through the season, flu finally is spreading throughout Texas, but Houston remains an oasis of pink throats and normal body temperatures.

The Houston Independent School District, the city health department and area clinics are reporting mild flu activity, and the area’s leading expert is predicting that will continue through March, the traditional end of the season.

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Glezen said Houston had a sharp peak in December, when children were still in school, but it dropped off when they went home on break and hasn’t dramatically picked up. He also said the flu strains circulating this year are milder than those of the past three years and are covered in this year’s vaccine.

Glezen urged people who haven’t gotten a flu shot to get one, noting that this year’s flu has killed a number of children.

Despite the mild activity in Houston, Texas has hit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “widespread” classification. The category, the highest, means that more than half of the state’s regions are reporting the flu.

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