Cold weather may be good for flu season




Posted on February 3, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 3 at 7:31 PM

GRAPEVINE — Some doctors have said that this cold snap might actually be good for flu season. That's because employees and students are not in class spreading illnesses.

We have not heard much about flu season this year, even though the flu seems to be peaking right now.

Only snow and ice could keep patients from a CareNow clinic in Grapevine. Despite the empty waiting room, influenza cases have been steadily rising in recent weeks.

"In fact, the peak we saw yesterday was probably a little higher than the peak we had in 2008 when it was just normal seasonal influenza," said Dr. Martin Jones.

He said this season's flu epidemic is normal. It might not seem so normal when compared to last year and the abnormally severe swine flu season.

H1N1 is not the top circulating strain this year. Health experts are not really sure why we are not seeing much swine flu this year. It could be because of built-up immunity or mass vaccinations in the last year.

Doctors are seeing something else out of the ordinary in many of the tests that are positive for Type A flu.

"There is one strain that we're seeing that apparently didn't get covered with our vaccine," said Dr. Russ Skinner of the CareNow clinic. "We had several patients who have come in that got vaccinated at the appropriate time in the fall, that have come in with flu-like symptoms that are testing positive."

Doctors say it is not too late to get a flu shot.