The Austin pharmacist says the prescriptions reflect an earlier flu season
AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) – The Center for Disease Control and Texas Department of Health Services data shows a higher number of flu cases than is typical for this time of year. An Austin pharmacist agrees with the data, saying he’s seen more prescriptions for the flu this season.
“In the last two years of the pandemic, with all the masks, we’ve seen a near elimination or reduction of the flu. But now we’re actually seeing flu levels almost pre-pandemic,” said Rannon Ching, Chief Pharmacist at Tarrytown Pharmacy.
He says it’s likely that this spike in flu numbers so early in the season is related to large gatherings without masks.
But Ching says any gathering where people come into contact with each other has a chance to spread viruses like the flu.
“As flu activity starts to pick up, we recommend getting the shot now because we’re seeing people getting sick a whole month earlier,” Ching said.
The last one report from Texas DSHS for the 2022-2023 flu season shows “high” flu activity in the state. The report for the same week in 2021 reflects only “minimal” activity during the same time last year.
Ching says now is a good time to get a flu shot because the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective.