Flu rates rise due to lack of vaccinations

Flu rates rise due to lack of vaccinations

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Center for Disease Control issued a warning that the mild flu season is turning rampant. Rates are high in 33 states, with 19,000 confirmed deaths including 158 children. 

Griffith Thomas works for Covenant and said the national report of one in 20 doctors visits being flu related last week was accurate. 

"Even here in Lubbock I would say that's correct. It might even be a little bit higher than that," Thomas said. 

He said the reason the numbers have jumped this season is clear. 

"There are a lot fewer people this year who have gotten their flu shot. Part of that was because last year the flu immunization was terrible. It was almost useless," he said. "This year the flu immunization was highly effective, over 70 percent. I'm still recommending to people to go get their flu shot."

Along with vaccinations, and the advice to cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing and sneezing, he recommends just waiting it out. There isn't much medication provided for the flu unless there are special circumstances. 

Flu season is expected to end in March or April, but could end up going as long as May. 

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