Doctors Worry Flu Will Spread With Holiday Travel

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – With the Centers of Disease Control identifying Texas as a high danger area for the flu, local health care providers worry holiday traveling this week will further spread the virus.

In Plano on Sunday, the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care facility was full of patients with influenza-type symptoms.

Dr. Alah Parika said, “Over the last two weeks the incidents of flu both types A and B have increased dramatically,”

Parikh said traveling will likely only exacerbate the issue.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, travelers packed extra bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes as they boarded crowded airplanes.

“There are going to be lots of germs — lots of kids,” said traveler Richea Dougherty.

Public health officials, especially in Texas, are strongly urging families to get a flu shot and to do it soon.

Six deaths in the Houston area are tied to the H1N1 flu virus and a person in Austin died from the same strain.

While a shot may be too late for those traveling this week, Dr. Parikh says it not too late in what could be a post-holiday outbreak.

He said, “Getting the flu vaccine will protect you for the rest of the flu season.  It takes about two weeks to gain full immunity but you are better off with it than without it.”

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