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Flu in Texas and Bexar County

Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

According to data from the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, there were 3,169 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu in Bexar County reported during the 2021-2022 season.

Symptoms of Flu

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Chills

Risk Factors for Severe Illness and Death

The flu can affect anyone, but some people are at higher risk for more serious illness including those individuals who:

  • Are ages 65 years or older
  • Are ages 2 years or younger
  • Are pregnant
  • Have asthma
  • Have diabetes
  • Have chronic disease of the heart, lung, kidney or liver
  • Are a nursing home or long-term care facility resident
  • Are immunocompromised

The flu accounted for about 24,000 deaths in the United States in the 2019-2020 flu season. The majority of these deaths (16,278) were in people ages 65 years and older.

Figure 1: Deaths from Flu in the US, 2019-2020 Season  Data from: CDC, 2019-2020

In 2021, nearly 3,000 Texans died of the flu.

Flu Prevention

The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine each year. Everyone ages 6 months and older is eligible to get a flu shot.

The flu shot may cause some mild side effects, including:

  • Soreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches

Side effects from the flu vaccine should subside within a few days.

Treating the Flu

Mild cases of the flu can generally be managed at home it until it resolves on its own.

People in low risk groups should:

  • Stay home while feeling sick
  • Drink fluids like water and soup
  • Take pain medicine like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to lower your fever and manage body aches
  • Stay away from others while sick
  • Wash hands regularly

People in high risk groups (young children, adults 65 or older, people who are pregnant) should consult with their health care provider. Antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) may reduce recovery time and lessen the severity of illness when taken appropriately.

Flu Resources in Bexar County

Flu Shots at Your Local Pharmacy

Many pharmacies in San Antonio offer free flu shots, including:

*Flu shots are available at no cost to you with most insurances.

University Health NurseLink

NurseLink is a 24-hour University Health phone service that connects patients with a University Health nurse to answer questions about treatment and care. This service is only for current University Health patients.

San Antonio Metro Health Flu Report

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District Flu Report is a weekly influenza surveillance report for the city.

CDC Flu View

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a weekly influenza surveillance report for the United States.