AUSTIN (KXAN) — As influenza cases are expected to ramp up in the fall, Gov. Greg Abbott says all Texans should make sure they’re protected from the virus.
On Tuesday, the Governor released a new public service announcement encouraging flu shots as an effective way of reducing the chances of flu contraction and spread.
“Flu season is already here, and that means we all need to take extra care to stay healthy,” Abbott said in the video. “That’s why I urge every Texan to go get a flu shot. I got mine today.”
While timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says activity usually begins to rise in October and peaks between December and February. However, flu season can last through May.
In addition to the added concerns of COVID-19 this year, the CDC said other respiratory viruses are known to circulate at the same time as the flu. These include rhinovirus, or the “common cold,” and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
RSV, the CDC said, is the most common cause of severe respiratory illness in young children and the leading cause of respiratory death in those over the age of 65.
While effectiveness of flu vaccines can vary based on several factors (including strains of the virus and characteristics of the person being vaccinated), the CDC said recent studies show vaccination reduces risk by between 40% and 60% overall.
Last flu season, the CDC reported that the flu caused the hospitalizations of more than half a million Americans as well as the deaths of 62,000 people in the country.