Flu season: local doctors say it's an early start

Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 18:50:46-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — Some cases of the flu have already been confirmed in Nueces county. The flu season doesn't officially begin until October, but a local doctor says it seems like flu season is starting earlier and earlier every year.

Dr. Kim Onufrak, a physician at the Corpus Christi Medical Center agreed with the message the CDC put out just yesterday; that this season in particular, could be a severe one.

She's already treating patients with the flu, and says it's almost like the last flu season never ended.

"It's getting earlier and earlier each year," said Dr. Onufrak. "There's not a flu season anymore. It's become more year round and that's because of the weather."

Even during the summer months, they're seeing more people at the emergency room test positive for the disease.

"And now we do have some sporadically in May, June, and July," said Dr. Onufrak. "So it's hard to really trend it now."

She also warns they've been seeing more young, healthy people get sick with the flu in recent years. She expects this season to be no different.

For Leslie Reyes, a mother of three whose kids are all sick right now, it's especially concerning.

"For them (the kids) to be showing signs of the flu and it's not even here yet. That is scary," said Reyes.

In Nueces county, the 2018-2019 flu season peaked with more than 800 cases around late February and early March. There's no information for how many confirmed cases we have right now.

There has been no reported activity in San Patricio County for the current season.

The CDC recommends everyone six months of age or older to get the flu shot as soon as possible. You can get the shot at area pharmacies, the health department or your doctor.