So far this flu season, 3,568 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported to GCHD, compared to just 455 during the same
period last season. Although the flu is not a condition healthcare providers are required to report to their local health
department, reported cases are a good indication of the overall trend.
“It’s frustrating to see so much chatter out there from people who are not getting the shot because they think it’s not
‘worth it’,” said Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County Local Health Authority. “While it’s true some people who get the shot
will still get the flu, the vaccine can reduce the severity of symptoms for people who get the virus.”
People 6-months and older should be vaccinated for the flu. Vaccination is especially important for certain high-risk
groups. People 65 and older, pregnant women, young children and those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk
for serious complications or even death if they get the flu.
“People often forget the flu can be fatal for the very young and old, especially for those with compromised immune
systems,” Dr. Keiser continued. “Being vaccinated not only protects you, it helps protect the vulnerable populations
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. People with
a combination of these symptoms should promptly see their medical provider.
In addition to vaccination, people should help stop the spread of the flu and other illness by covering all coughs and
sneezes, washing their hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and staying at home when sick.
While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another. Flu outbreaks
typically happen as early as October and can last as late as May.
“The flu shot will not give you the flu, despite a lot of rumors to the contrary,” Dr. Keiser said. “The virus in the vaccine is
inactive and can not make you ill with the flu.”
GCHD has offered the flu vaccine at no cost at is immunization clinic since late December 2017, in addition to several off-
For more information on the flu and future no-cost clinics, visit www.gchdorg/flu.
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Public Health Services · Coastal Health & Wellness · Emergency Medical Services · Animal Resource Center
The Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is the local public health agency for Galveston County, Texas.
GCHD provides services and programs that protect the everyday health and well-being of Galveston County.
P.O. Box 939 La Marque, Texas 77568 • 409-938-7221