Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Extremely High Flu Activity in Travis County


The following statement is from Austin Public Health (APH), Ascension Seton and St. David’s HealthCare: 

“Dell Children’s Medical Center, part of Ascension Seton, and St. David’s Children’s Hospital are currently experiencing a greater number of patients in pediatric emergency departments. We are seeing a spike in respiratory illnesses among children, not just in Central Texas, but nationwide. Many children experiencing symptoms consistent with upper respiratory illness can receive care at a doctor’s office or urgent care clinic. 
Having the capacity to safely care for all patients is essential to providing ongoing healthcare services to our community, and we are asking for the community’s help. 
It is important that we reserve our emergency departments for patients with emergent medical conditions. We are encouraging parents to access the most appropriate site of care for their child’s medical needs. If a child has flu-like symptoms, parents should call their doctor or take their child to an urgent care clinic. If they are having trouble breathing or have some other type of related emergent condition, they should go to an emergency department.”  

What Can I Do to Help? Get Vaccinated. 

Getting your seasonal flu shot can help protect you and those around you from serious illness. It’s especially important considering flu activity is extremely high in Travis County right now. Everyone 6 months and older is eligible for flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and they can be given at the same time. APH offers both at Shots for Tots/Big Shots and most pop-up clinics. The APH Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) team worked with community partners to host more than two dozen clinics last month to reach historically underserved communities.  

“Cold and flu season is off to an early start in our area,” said Adrienne Sturrup, APH director. “I encourage everyone to find time to get up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots so we can avoid missing work or school or worse—hospitalization. We have tools to keep our families healthy, so let’s not take them for granted.”  

Only about half of all Americans get an annual flu shot. Influenza can cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths during an average flu season. Many people could be better protected from serious complications if they got vaccinated. 

Still looking for a reason to get vaccinated? Pick one of these

  1. Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu. 
  2. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated and still get sick. 
  3. Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization. 
  4. Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with certain chronic health conditions. 
  5. Flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect pregnant people from flu during and after pregnancy. It also helps protect infants from flu in their first few months of life. 
  6. Flu vaccine can be lifesaving for children. 
  7. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you. 

Share the message with friends, family and your community via InstagramNew flu informational flyers are available in our flu communication toolkit. Help us share information to protect our community this cold and flu season.