Flu season starts earlier in Lubbock this year - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Flu season starts earlier in Lubbock this year

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

This year, Lubbock physicians say they are seeing flu season get off to an early and aggressive start.

"We really started seeing it after the Thanksgiving holiday. We're seeing two different types of flu - Flu A and Flu B," Nurse Practioner Michelle Houghton said.

Aimee Bartis started experiencing flu symptoms a week ago and has since been diagnosed with Influenza A.

"I had the chest pains, the body aches. I just can't get comfortable," Bartis said

Influenza B isn't any better, it comes with nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal side effects.

"We didn't use to see the flu until January or February. Now, we're really starting to see it in November. That's the big month of it," Houghton said.

Houghton, who is a nurse practitioner with Covenant Hospitals who specializes in pediatrics. She says no one is immune to the virus.

"We have seen a couple of two-year-olds and three-year-olds. And, not all of them are in daycare. So, it's coming through the community through parents as well," Houghton said.

Houghton says it's hard to pinpoint why the flu season seems to start earlier and earlier each year. However, she says good habits can help prevent it.

"Washing your hands, that's the big one. Everybody talks about coughing into your sleeve. Getting your flu vaccine is truly the best thing that you can do," Houghton said.

Anyone can get the flu vaccine, unless they have an allergy to eggs. Children as young as 6 months old are eligible and pregnant mothers are encouraged to get it because the vaccine protects the baby, even after he or she is born.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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