Austin (KXAN) - Forrest James does not mind the needle. He has had the flu before and does not want it again, so he is getting a flu shot at the St. John's Community Center in northeast Austin.
"Flu can be a life-threatening disease in some case , so it's good to be on guard," said Forrest James.
Austin-Travis County is also on guard to prevent a public health emergency like Boston, Massachusetts declared Wednesday. Boston is dealing with about 700 confirmed flu cases, and Massachusetts reported 18 flu-related deaths. Austin health officials have a network of hospitals and clinics that help them monitor flu cases, and they say they have been doing all they can to protect the area from an outbreak that gets out of control.
"The city of Austin is prepared, and we're doing that by educating the public about the importance of getting the flu vaccine and how well it works," said Travis County Health Educator Coleen Christian.
Austin-Travis County health workers have vaccinated more than 6,000 people against the flu, and there are still plenty of shots available. That was not the case in 2009, when there were big delays in producing the H1N1 flu vaccine. It was a new virus strain, and the pandemic forced Dell Children's Medical Center to set up triage centers in tents outside just to keep up with patient load.
Doctors at Dell Children's Medical Center do not expect that to happen with this year's flu, but they say 2009 made them more ready than ever to handle any health emergency.
"We are probably one of the most prepared hospitals in America, because we've already done that," said .Dr. Coburn Allen with Dell Children's Medical Center/Pediatric Infectious Disease. "We've already equipped ourselves for those kinds of outbreaks, and we've been through it and dealt with it quite nicely."
Still doctors say the best way to protect the community is to protect yourself with a flu shot.
Light snow flurries were reported early Saturday just north of the KXAN viewing area. Sub-freezing temperatures along with a slight chance of light snow, sleet and freezing rain will continue through Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.