Plenty of flu shots, but where's the flu?

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 26 at 11:57 AM

North Texas flu cases should be on the rise. Yet, many private clinics, along with the Dallas County Health Department, are giving away thousands of flu shots. The reason is because the public urgency to protect against flu just isn't there.

Health professionals are blaming the flu, or lack of it.

At the CareNow clinic in Allen, there was not a single flu case in sight.

This time last year, the 23 North Texas CareNow clinics saw, on average, ten cases of flu each day.

This year, there's only been seven total company wide, in the last week.

"There really are two reasons that I can think of," explained Dr. Martin Jones, CareNow's regional medical director. "One is that we may be having an influenza season that peaks later than usual. Or we may be having an influenza season that is lighter than usual."

In fact, the CDC is only reporting sporadic cases of influenza statewide.

Flu season typically peaks in North Texas in January, so the area should be seeing cases rise right now.

Dr. Martin Jones said since flu has not hit yet, it gives people plenty of time to protect themselves with a flu shot, in case there is a widespread outbreak in the future.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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