CDC: Texas hardest hit by flu - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

CDC: Texas hardest hit by flu

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(KYTX) - Pull out your hand sanitizer and tissues. Flu season is officially upon us.

The CDC is already reporting widespread infection rates in several states, including Alabama, Louisiana and New York.

But, Texas has been the hardest hit, with at least 17 deaths across the state from the H1N1 strain, also known as swine flu.

It first made headlines back in 2009, causing a pandemic that the CDC says infected 52 million people- about 24% of the world- and may have killed hundreds of thousands worldwide.    

"H1N1 was pretty nasty." says Russell Hopkins with NET Health.

He says H1N1 is particularly dangerous in pregnant women.

"It may be because their immune system is so attune to protecting that baby. It may overreact."

And, in younger people with underlying medical conditions, like Claris Smith. She says she never misses her flu shot.

"For me, it's particularly important because I have a chronic illness. So, I always try to get them as soon as possible to keep myself healthy."
Hopkins says unfortunately allergies, sinus infections, and colds all have symptoms that mimic the flu.

"If you're running a 100 degree temperature at night, that's probably not the flu. If you're running a 104 degree temperature all day long, that's the flu. But, the best way to determine that is to go see your physician."

In the meantime, he says practice good hygiene and get vaccinated.

"I went to my doctor and he gave it to me right there. So, I was glad that I did it. Haven't been sick yet." says Claris.

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