Long flu season finally winding down in Texoma - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Long flu season finally winding down in Texoma

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SHERMAN, Texas -- The Centers for Disease Control says we're in the midst of the longest flu season in a decade.

It has endured for 21 weeks so far, beating the previous 10-year high of 20 weeks back in the 2014-2015 season.

Nationwide, the CDC estimates there have been as many as 57,000 flu deaths since October 1, with more than half a million Americans hospitalized.

But in Grayson County, the worst appears to be over.

"Locally, our cases are sporadic as far as even in the region," said Amanda Ortez of the Grayson County Health Department "They're sporadic throughout the State of Texas, and in some of the other states there's more activity."

Last week, the Grayson County Health Department had four confirmed flu cases from rapid flu tests.

"We typically see flu season start to peak in December and February and taper off in the spring," Ortez said. "This flu season is lasting a little bit longer. It's hanging on, and that's probably because of the different strain that has emerged here at the very end."

The season started with the H1N1 strain. Now, the more severe strain of H3N2 is prevalent. That's the strain that kicked off the previous flu season, which is why that season was so deadly.

Also, this year the flu shot is 47 percent effective, which is not considered low.

"So that leaves a lot of individuals that could be susceptible, although that provides some protection," Ortez said. "Even if the shot is not 100 percent effective, it can offer some type of relief."

Officials say if you still haven't gotten your flu shot, it's not too late.

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