Flu Awareness Precautions Shared
Posted: 1/10/13

Flu Awareness
Precautions Shared

Like most of Texas, Laredo currently has widespread influenza (flu) and flu-like respiratory illnesses.  41 states across the country are experiencing widespread illness.  Texas A & M International University students, faculty and staff should take precautions against seasonal flu.  The best protection is through a flu vaccine. 

What is the status of flu in Laredo?

Since September 2012, the City of Laredo Health Department has received over 2,000 reports of flu-like illness through its surveillance system. To date, CLHD has received more flu-like illness reports than in the previous two years.  Half of these reports have been in school-age children.  Most of these persons recovered uneventfully.   It is important to protect others, particularly the vulnerable, from exposure to persons who are ill.

To prevent illness, the CLHD continues to work with schools, employers, hospitals and clinics.  It is providing alerts to the community and continues to monitor for flu-like illness.  CLHD is also conducting sampling to confirm flu and determine flu types.  Laboratory tests have confirmed 60 cases of flu.  43 of these cases were type B; 17 of these cases were type A.  The flu vaccination covers these types of flu.

What are flu symptoms?

Sudden illness with fever (100.4ºF or more), headache, dry cough, sore throat and extreme body aches.

Who should get vaccinated?

All persons over 6 months of age should get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for persons who are vulnerable and at risk:  the uninsured, children between 6 months and 5 years of age, pregnant women, people who are 50 years of age and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions (diabetes, heart and kidney conditions, asthma, HIV, cancer), persons who are immuno-compromised, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.   Persons who care for the vulnerable should also be vaccinated. 

Where can I get flu vaccines?

TAMIU Employees:  TAMIU’s BCBS benefit provides free flu vaccination for staff and covered dependents at HEB, Walgreens, or your private health care provider.  If these are not alternatives for you, visit the City of Laredo Health Department (see below).

TAMIU Students:  A limited number of doses are available for those UNDER age 19 from TAMIU Student Health Services.  If this is not an alternative for you, visit the City of Laredo Health Department or other providers (see below).

City of Laredo Health Department Immunization Program (2600 Cedar Avenue; 795-4906) provides flu vaccines. 

  •  Cost for children 18 years of age and younger is $8. 
  •  Cost for persons age 19 years of age and older is $20.
  •  Flu and pneumonia vaccines are free for Medicaid and Medicare Part B Recipients (bring your card).  

Pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and other clinics also offer flu vaccines.

In addition to getting vaccinated, practice prevention by:

  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands.
  • If you cough, cough into your elbow sleeve or into tissues. 

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu