Not too late for a flu shot as illness sweeps through Lubbock schools

Updated: Feb. 9, 2017 at 10:43 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - So many kids are sick at home right now, Trinity Christian Elementary canceled classes at that school Thursday and Friday.

So what is this bug that is going around?

Dr. Fatma Levent, an infectious disease specialist and Texas Tech Physician, says there are multiple viruses circulating right now, along with strep throat.

But overall, she says the biggest culprit is the flu.

And she says even if you've already had the flu this season, get a flu shot because this year, it could keep you from getting the flu twice.

She explains, "There are two different types of the influenza. That's type A and type B. If you've had the type A, it's the one that is circulating right now. At least if you get the flu shot, you can be protected against the type B."

Dr. Levent says at least we're lucky that unlike some previous years, this year's flu vaccine is a very good match in fighting both flu strains that are circulating. She adds that since it takes at least 10 days for the vaccine to build an immunity, be prepared that you could be exposed to the virus during that time. However, the flu shot is effective in lessening the symptoms, perhaps enough to keep you out of the hospital.

Dr. Levent also says some people who are at home now recovering from strep throat may actually have the flu. She says the "Rapid Strep Test" is known to have some false positives. So, it's very possible that some patients may be suffering from the flu instead since they carry many of the same symptoms.

Her advice? If you think you've been suffering from strep, but the symptoms continue beyond 48 hours of antibiotic treatment, talk to your doctor. You may need a flu test instead since symptoms of the flu may continue for much longer.

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