ABILENE, Texas - With doctors seeing an increase in flu cases and the threat of flu-like illness classified as "high" in Texas, state and local health officials are urging residents to get flu shots.
According to a city of Abilene news release, "Getting vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves and their families from the flu during the holiday season."
Health officials recommend vaccinations for those six months old and older. They urge people to speak with their health care providers about what flu vaccine is appropriate. One option is a nasal spray for people ages 2 to 49 who aren't pregnant. Another option is a high-dose vaccine for those age 65 and older.
Each year, the flu kills about 23,600 Americans, stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. Those most at risk include the elderly, pregnant women and young children. Those with chronic health conditions are also in jeopardy for complications.
Officials are urging people to "cover all coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, and stay home if sick," the release said.
For more information, contact the Abilene-Taylor County Health District at (325) 692-5600.
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