We are three months into flu season... and cameron county health officials say they're seeing a difference from last year.
Channel 5's daisy martinez has more on the reason behind a lower number of flu cases this year..... perla mata isn't taking any chances this year... she already knows what it feels like to not get the flu shot sot: needs english translation perla mata getting flu shot in:00:32:40:15 out:00;32:43:16 "well i just feel worse" her toddler already got the flu shot, today it's her turn...she says it's become a routine thing every flu season... sot: sot: needs english translation perla mata getting flu shot in:00:32:12:00 out:00:32:16:21 "it's just a preventative measure so that if i get sick, it won't be as bad" cameron county health administrator esmeralda guajardo says people like mata who are heeding the warnings about the potential seriousness of the flu and getting the shot, is what's likely the key factor to lower numbers of cases this year.
She says the high number of flu cases last year, was nationwide - people took notice sot:esmeralda guajardo cameron co.
Health administrator in:00:09:10:05 out:00:09:17:03 "based on last year's history, more people are actually getting vaccinated this year to prevent from the same kind of issues happening" guajardo tells us the state doesn't require them to track flu cases, because it would require too massive of an effort since it can be so widespread.
Still, the county tracks the number of flu cases for hospital patients and people in nursing homes sot: esmeralda guajardo cameron co.
Health administrator in:00:06:52:04 out:00:07:01:12 "those are the high risk cases those are the individuals that are truly sick and we need to keep tabs on them just to make sure there aren't any outbreaks."
For those populations - the numbers from the end of september to now... compared to the same time period last year, the numbers are lower guajardo says not everyone can afford to take the flu shot, but those that can should to help keep the numbers at bay.
Sot: in:00:16:03:02 out:00:16:08:04 "people are getting anti-virals and going to the doctor's because they realize, it can get pretty severe" flu season runs through may, and tends to peak around february.
From brownsville daisy martinez channel 5 news at 6 other illnesses can cause some of the same symptoms as the flu, so it's important to see a doctor if you are sick.
This is a channel 5 news extra... to help reduce the chances of getting the flu: get the vaccine each year wash your hands often.
Cough and sneeze into your sleeve to prevent the spread and stay home if you are sick