When Is Flu Season in Texas for 2023? Key Dates & Info

Flu season in Texas typically runs from late fall through early spring, with peak activity between December and February. Know when is flu season in Texas to get vaccinated.

The 2023-2024 flu season in Texas started on October 1, 2023. This year, as the leaves change and the air cools, Texans are preparing.1 Flu season goes from late fall through early spring. It is most active between December and February.

The latest Texas Influenza Surveillance Report shows some changes.1 There’s been a 2.71% rise in positive flu tests this week over the last. But, the number of patient visits for flu-like symptoms dropped by 0.37% at the same time.1

Despite the season just starting, there are already worrisome reports. One child died from the flu, and three cases in care facilities have been noted.1 Remember, not all flu cases in Texas are officially tracked. This means the reported data may not show the full impact of the flu.2

Key Takeaways

  • The 2023-2024 influenza season in Texas began on October 1, 2023.
  • There has been an increase in the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza, but a decrease in the percentage of patient visits due to influenza-like illness (ILI).
  • One influenza-associated pediatric death and three institutional outbreaks have been reported so far.
  • The majority of influenza cases in Texas are not required to be reported by law, so the surveillance data may not reflect the full scope of flu activity in the state.
  • Texans should stay vigilant and take steps to protect themselves, such as getting the annual flu vaccine and practicing good hygiene, as flu season continues to unfold.

Understanding Texas Flu Season

Flu season in Texas runs from late fall to early spring, peaking from December to February.3 This matches the U.S. trend, where flu season starts in October and ends in May. The highest activity is from December to February.4 The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report keeps track of the flu in the state. It shows weekly updates on test results for influenza, patient visits for flu, and more.1

Typical Flu Season Timeframe

In Texas, flu season continues until May, which differs from the U.S. timeframe ending in February.3 The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report offers detailed information on flu in the state. This includes variations in trends and activity by region.1

Flu Peak Months

Flu activity in Texas is highest from December to February.3 This aligns with the U.S. trend, where the CDC notes a peak in winter.4

Flu Season TimeframeTexasUnited States
Typical StartLate FallOctober
Peak ActivityDecember – FebruaryDecember – February
Typical EndEarly SpringMay

Texas Flu Surveillance Report for 2023-2024

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) posts the5 Texas Influenza Surveillance Report weekly. It shows flu cases in the state.5 It tells us the percentage of tests that were positive for flu, the number of people visiting the hospital for flu-like symptoms, and more.1

Latest Flu Activity Data

The 2023-2024 flu season started on October 1, 2023. According to the report, 25.38% of tests were positive for flu this week, up from last week.1 However, fewer people (6.91%) visited due to ILI symptoms.1 Sadly, one child died from the flu, and three outbreaks were in nursing homes.1

Statewide Flu Activity Map

The report also has a map showing flu activity levels by county.5 This map helps health workers see where flu is spreading.5

Four regions saw more flu/ILI cases, but four saw less.1 There were no new strains of flu. The ILINet, which shows flu activity from the CDC, stayed very high.1

This report is updated every week in a PDF, with data up to January 12, 2024.1

Early Signs of Flu Season in Texas 2023

The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report shows signs of the 2023-2024 flu season. Hospital labs have seen more positive influenza cases lately. The rate increased by 0.58% from last week to hit 1.89%2. On the other hand, visits for flu-like illness dropped by 0.41% from the week before, now at 2.69%2.

These early hints indicate flu season is starting in Texas. However, its impact might vary in different areas.

This week, 2 outbreaks occurred in schools due to respiratory diseases2. More outbreaks, especially in places like long-term care facilities, are early signs. They point to the 2023-2024 flu season kicking off in Texas.

Please note, most flu cases in Texas are not included in these reports. Only those directly shared with health departments are in the count2. Still, looking at the available data, the flu season’s early, and we might see more cases soon.

Early flu season signs texas

when is flu season in texas

Flu season in Texas starts in late fall and goes until early spring, hitting hardest from December to February.1 Yet, the start and end can change, depending on many things. These include the weather, how many people get vaccinated, and which flu strains are going around.3

Factors Influencing Flu Season Start

Many things affect when flu season begins in Texas. For example, which flu strains are around, the local weather, and how many people get their shots.3 All these can make flu season start and end at different times, with some years being worse than others.4

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Regional Variations within Texas

Not every part of Texas sees the flu at the same time or with the same intensity.1 The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report helps keep track of these differences. It helps healthcare workers and health officials know where to focus their efforts.1

Flu Severity and Trends in Texas

The impact of the flu can change in Texas every year. The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report tracks flu activity over time. It shows us how many tests were positive for the flu1, the visits to the doctor because of the flu1, and deaths. This information helps to see if the flu is getting more or less severe each year flu severity. By looking at past flu seasons in Texas, experts can get ready for the current year.

Historical Flu Data for Texas

Flu is usually at its worst in Texas from December to February. February is often the peak month for
flu cases6. Last year, the most flu cases were seen early December, which was peak season for 2022-236. At that time, the highest positive rate for the flu was 24.5%6. This year, starting from Oct. 1, Texas has had over 4,700 confirmed flu cases by Dec. 8. This gives a positivity rate for the season of 6.59%6.

According to the latest Texas Influenza Surveillance Report, the rate of positive tests for the flu in hospital labs went up to 25.38% this week1. But, the percentage of visits for flu-like symptoms has gone down to 6.91%1. Sadly, a child passed away from the flu this week. There were also three outbreaks in long-term care settings1.

Texas Flu Vaccine Recommendations

The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and PMGNTX say everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year.7 This is extra important for those at risk, like children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women, and those with health issues.7 Although the flu shot isn’t a guaranteed shield, it makes it much less likely you’ll get the flu. And if you do, the symptoms might not be as bad.3 Each year, experts update the flu shot to match the most common strains of the flu that are likely to spread.7

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

According to the CDC, anyone older than six months should get a flu shot every year.7 This includes pregnant women, people over 65, youngsters, and those with health problems.7 Unfortunately, babies under six months can’t get the vaccine.7 You can find flu shots in many places, like at the doctor’s, clinics, and even some schools and workplaces.7

Vaccine Effectiveness

Getting a flu shot can cut down your risk of getting the flu by 40% to 60%.3 The 2023 vaccine in the U.S. guards against several flu types.3 It helps lower the number of flu cases, days missed from work or school, and serious flu complications. Plus, it makes the flu milder if you do catch it.7

Flu Symptoms and Treatment in Texas

The flu makes you feel really sick in Texas. You might have a high fever, body aches, and chills.8 Other signs include a headache, being tired, and not being able to breathe well.8 Your throat might also hurt. The illness can stay for two to five days, maybe longer.8 Symptoms can last over a week sometimes.8

Seeking Medical Attention

It’s crucial to see a doctor if you feel like you’re catching the flu in Texas.8 Doctors can check if it’s the flu. If it is, they can give you medicine to make you feel better faster.8

Antiviral Medications

Taking antiviral drugs early helps a lot. Medicines like Tamiflu and Relenza are most effective in the first 48 hours.8 These drugs may make your symptoms go away sooner, maybe by a day or two.8 But remember, getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids are also key to getting better.8

Flu Prevention Tips for Texans

Getting a flu shot every year is a great start. It can cut your flu risk by 60%, says the CDC9. But, there’s more you can do. Washing your hands often with soap is a must. Also, when you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or your elbow to trap the germs.

Avoiding Sick Contacts

Try to stay away from sick people. If you feel flu symptoms, it’s best to stay home. These steps are key to keeping well in Texas, especially from December to February10.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

Keeping your hands clean and using the right ways to sneeze or cough matter a lot. So, wash your hands often, and cover up when you sneeze or cough. Plus, try not to get too close to people who are sick. Doing these things can stop the flu from spreading and keep you well.

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Flu and COVID-19 in Texas

COVID-19 hasn’t spread as much in Texas lately, but it’s still here, with new strains popping up.By October 2023, Texas plans to have a new vaccine that fights the latest COVID-19 forms. This vaccine will likely be recommended for all, no matter their past vaccinations.

Flu season will also be happening when this new COVID-19 vaccine is out. So, it’s important for Texans to keep up with the news and advice.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Texas

Along with the flu and COVID-19, Texans face the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).11 RSV brings cold-like symptoms like a runny nose, cough, and fever. Luckily, most people recover within a week or two. But, older adults and young kids can face severe problems.

RSV Risks and Symptoms

RSV is more dangerous for infants, the elderly, and people with health issues.11 The CDC tracks RSV in Texas through the NREVSS. They use advanced tests to keep an eye on it.11

RSV Vaccine for Older Adults

A special RSV vaccine is now for people over 60. The CDC suggests talking to your doctor about this vaccine. You can get it with your yearly flu shot.

Knowing about RSV and the new vaccine helps keep Texans safe. This can help stop the virus from spreading in our communities.

Flu Outbreaks and Reporting in Texas

The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report keeps an eye on flu outbreaks in the state. The latest report shows three flu outbreaks in long-term care facilities.1 It also says there are more flu outbreaks this week compared to last time.1 Most flu cases in Texas are not required to be reported, which the data reflects.2 This monitoring helps officials deal with the flu more effectively.

Flu Outbreak MetricsCurrent WeekPrevious Week
Percentage of specimens positive for influenza by hospital laboratories25.38%11.89%2
Percentage of visits due to influenza-like illness (ILI)6.91%12.69%2
Number of regions reporting increased flu/ILI activity4152
Number of regions reporting decreased flu/ILI activity4122
Number of variant/novel influenza infections0102
Number of ILI/influenza outbreaks3122
Number of pediatric influenza deaths1102
Statewide ILINet Activity Indicator assigned by CDCVery High1Low2

Flu in High-Risk Groups

In Texas, some people have a higher chance of getting very sick from the flu. These include young kids, older adults, expecting mothers, and those with long-term illnesses.12 Kids under five and people over 65 have more risks. So do pregnant women and those with issues like asthma or heart problems.12 It’s very important for these high-risk folks to get their flu shots yearly. It helps a lot to keep them from getting really sick. Health workers watch out for the flu in these groups closely.

Children and Elderly

12 Kids often get the flu the most. And the chances of getting very sick or even dying from it go up after 65. Vaccinating and caring for these at-risk groups is vital in Texas during flu season.

Pregnant Women

12 Expecting moms are at a bigger risk from the flu. Pregnancy changes the body in ways that can lead to severe sickness. So, it’s crucial that pregnant women in Texas get their flu shot.

Those with Chronic Conditions

12 People with long-lasting illnesses like asthma or heart issues face bigger flu risks. They should team up with their doctors. Together, they can keep these conditions in check. It’s also key for them to get the flu shot every year to stay healthy in flu season.

Role of Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers in Texas are key in tackling the flu. They swiftly test and diagnose those with flu symptoms. This quick action leads to prompt use of antiviral medicines. These can lower the severity and length of the illness12.

Providers also push for flu shots, especially for those more at risk13. They educate patients on why the flu shot is important. This helps protect communities and lessens the flu’s toll13.By ready access and clear education, these providers make a big difference.

Furthermore, by keeping track and reporting flu cases, they help the state know how flu is spreading. This tracking is crucial in fighting the flu4.

Flu Testing and Diagnosis

Healthcare providers quickly check and diagnose flu cases. Early diagnosis means timely use of antiviral medicines. These medications can lessen the flu’s impact12.

This step is especially vital during the4 flu season. Flu viruses are more widespread then. So, catching and treating flu patients early makes a big difference.

Promoting Vaccination

Providers also encourage their patients to get the flu vaccine. This is crucial for high-risk groups like kids, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with ongoing health issues12.

They stress the importance of the yearly flu shot. By making vaccines easy to get and explaining their value, healthcare pros in Texas do a lot. They play a major role in keeping their areas safe from the flu13.

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Preparing for Flu Season in Texas

As flu season nears, Texans must get ready. They should stock up on remedies like fever reducers, tissues, and hand sanitizer. Pharmacies make it easy to get flu shots for those seven and older, plus all adults.13

Stocking Essential Supplies

Having these supplies can combat flu symptoms and stop its spread. Along with the basics, having a thermometer, cough drops, and over-the-counter meds handy is wise.3 Getting a flu shot can lower your chances of getting sick by 40% to 60%. This shows how important they are.3

Workplace and School Readiness

Texas’ workplaces and schools need a plan for flu. They should make rules about staying home when you’re sick. And everyone should keep their hands clean and cover coughs and sneezes.13 It’s key for providers to talk about flu shots and have enough vaccines.13 Doing these things will help protect communities from the flu.

Flu Resources in Texas

Texans have many ways to stay informed and ready for flu season. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) releases the Texas Influenza Surveillance Report weekly. It shows the latest flu activities, trends, and outbreaks in the state.4 The CDC’s website also has a lot of info on preventing flu, its symptoms, and how to treat it.4 Plus, local healthcare providers, pharmacies, and health departments are great for info and advice. With these resources, Texans can make smart choices to stay safe this flu season.43

Conclusion

Flu season in Texas usually starts in late fall and goes through early spring.14 The highest flu activity happens between December and February. The Texas Influenza Surveillance Report keeps track of flu trends in the state with weekly updates. This includes the percentage of positive flu tests and the number of flu outbreaks.14 Signs are showing for the 2023-2024 season with more positive flu tests and institutional outbreaks increasing.14

To stay safe, Texans should get their yearly flu shot, keep clean, and be aware of the latest news.14 Healthcare workers are essential in testing and preventing the flu.14 By everyone doing their part, we can lessen the flu’s effects on our state.14

The main points about the flu season in Texas highlight why we need to be careful, get vaccinated, and work together. This is vital to lower the flu’s impact in Texas for 2023-2024.1415

FAQ

When does flu season typically begin and end in Texas?

In Texas, flu season usually starts in the late fall. It ends by early spring. The busiest time is from December to February.

When is the peak of flu season in Texas?

The flu season’s peak in Texas is between December and February.

What are the early signs of the 2023-2024 flu season in Texas?

A: There are early signs showing up in Texas for the 2023-2024 flu season. This includes more positive flu tests from hospital labs. Also, there’s an increase in outbreaks in places like nursing homes.

How does the timing and severity of flu season vary within Texas?

Flu seasons differ from place to place in Texas. Some areas may see an early or tough flu season before others. Factors such as weather and how many people get flu shots play a big role. The type of flu bugs going around also matters.

What does the Texas Influenza Surveillance Report track?

This report keeps an eye on several important things. It checks the percentage of flu tests that come back positive. It also looks at how many people visit the doctor for flu-like symptoms. Moreover, it tracks flu outbreaks and pediatric deaths.

Who is at higher risk for severe flu complications in Texas?

In Texas, some people face greater risks from the flu. This includes young kids, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with other health issues.

How can healthcare providers in Texas help address the flu?

Texas healthcare workers are key in fighting the flu. They test and diagnose flu patients. They give out flu-fighting drugs and encourage flu shots, especially for those at a higher risk.

What steps can Texans take to prepare for flu season?

To get ready for the flu season, Texans should stock up on some items. They should make sure workplaces and schools have good flu plans. And, they should keep up to date on flu news and advice.

Where can Texans find resources and information on the flu season?

Texans can get info on the flu from several places. These include the Texas Influenza Surveillance Report, the CDC’s website, and advice from local doctors.

Source Links

  1. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/influenza-flu-provider-information/influenza-flu-surveillance/2023-2024-texas-influenza-surveillance-activity
  2. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/influenza-flu-provider-information/influenza-flu-surveillance/2022-2023-texas-influenza-surveillance-activity
  3. https://howdyhealth.tamu.edu/flu-season/
  4. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/influenza-flu-provider-information/faqs
  5. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/influenza-flu-provider-information/influenza-flu-surveillance
  6. https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/what-are-flu-levels-like-in-texas/
  7. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/influenza-flu/influenza-flu-vaccination
  8. https://uthealtheasttexas.com/news/flu-how-long-it-lasts-how-prevent-it
  9. https://blog.txfb-ins.com/health-fitness/flu-season-tips/
  10. https://mobileivmedics.com/flu-protection-texas/
  11. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/respiratory-syncytial-virus-rsv/respiratory-syncytial-virus-rsv-data
  12. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/influenza-flu-provider-information
  13. https://www.bcbstx.com/provider-medicaid/education-and-reference/news/2022-archive/2321-influenza-flu-season-2022-2023
  14. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2021-2022.htm
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367534/