Influenza virus more potent and reaching Texas sooner - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Influenza virus more potent and reaching Texas sooner

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

If you think this year's flu season is hitting earlier and harder than usual, you're not imagining things.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 41 states, including Texas, are experiencing intense flu outbreaks weeks earlier than normal.

Nationwide, 18 pediatric deaths have been linked to the flu, including a Dallas-area teen who died last week from complications.

Doctors say the best defense continues to be the flu vaccine.

Dr. William Peacock, at the Ben Taub General Hospital emergency room, says, "It works pretty well. It works better than anything else you have, and if you don't get it: You don't get it. It's not like you get half of it. You don't get it at all."

If you haven't been vaccinated this season, doctors encourage you to do so. It still takes about two weeks for it to take effect, but there's plenty more flu season to endure.

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