Flu season is right around the corner, but there have been some cases already reported around North Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services is expecting to see flu cases rise this year. 

According to WFAA, flu season in North Texas has been mild for the past several years because of COVID-19 protocols such as masks and social distancing. But with COVID restrictions becoming a thing of the past, the flu will most likely make a strong return this year. During the last week of September, 3.56% of flu tests done in Texas labs came back positive, compared to the previous week’s rate of 2.73% 

Medical City Healthcare is one of the providers already seeing positive flu cases. The early spike in numbers is most likely attributed to back-to-school season and less social distancing. But just because the flu has hit North Texas does not mean sickness is expected for everyone. 

There are a number of ways to stay healthy this fall and winter, and most are easy to follow: Frequent handwashing, covering sneezes and coughs, cleaning high-touch areas and avoiding contact with the ill are all ways to stay clear of the flu. Most importantly, it is highly recommended by medical professionals to get the yearly dose of the flu shot. CareNow is now offering $20 flu shots at all North Texas locations.

“The best way to help avoid getting the flu is to get the seasonal influenza vaccination,” said CareNow Regional Medical Director Shawn Riley, MD. “Most people 6 months of age and older should receive the annual seasonal flu vaccine, with rare exceptions.” 

Symptoms of the flu are very similar to those of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and body aches. It is recommended to get tested for both to keep yourself and others healthy. 

Flu shot stations around Collin County are not difficult to find, and most can be given by medical providers and other pharmacies such as CVS and CareNow. You can also visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccine center closest to you.