Robbie Owens for CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COMBy Robbie Owens

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – As the flu virus continues its deadly spread across North Texas, health officials are telling those who have been avoiding flu shots that there is still time to get protected.  And many hold outs are beginning to listen.

Drew Wilson of Southlake says he had never gotten a flu shot… until today.  The climbing death toll finally got his attention. “I’ve been seeing it on the news… it’s scary.” Wilson said.

Doctors say it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective; but, even afterwards patients should not ignore flu symptoms.

“You can still get the flu if you’ve gotten the flu vaccine,” says Dr. Bryan Wasson, a Baylor Internal Medicine Physician.  “But, once again, the symptoms are much less.”

According to Dr. Wasson, the flu symptoms will be the same; high fever, chills, and horrible body ache but will likely be much less severe for a patients that have been vaccinated.

“Their symptoms are so mitigated they’re so minimal, they’re not even quite sure they have the flu themselves.  But, they may.  So, it’s important to get checked, because you don’t want to spread it throughout the family.

Viruses are so contagious and spread so easily in close quarters that Dr. Wasson says he typically treats flu patients’ families as well, to ward off the illness.  He also recommends seeing a doctor quickly if you’re not feeling well, because self-diagnoses can delay treatment… and flu is not the only bad bug going around.

“I’m seeing strep, I’m seeing flu, I’m seeing sinus infections and pneumonia…  and now I’m seeing this GI (gastrointestinal) bug that’s causing vomiting and diarrhea.”

Dr. Wasson recommends frequent hand washing, practicing good cough etiquette, and by all means, stay home when you’re sick.

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