NEWS ALERT

While one strand of the flu has dominated cases throughout the season, a secondary strand is on the rise, and Central Texas has recorded high cases of both strands.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services released its weekly influenza surveillance report Friday, with data indicating Bell, Coryell, Lampasas and surrounding counties have comparatively high numbers for both Type A and Type B cases of the flu.

DHHS spokeswoman Lara Anton said the entire state has seen heightened cases of the flu in the past weeks, and that it’s hard to tell whether Texans have seen the worst of it yet.

“The whole state has been widespread for weeks, and that’s been pretty much consistent,” Anton said. “We don’t know if we’ve peaked yet.”

Flu season typically lasts around 16 weeks in Texas, Anton said, and although week No. 11 is wrapping up, the worst of flu season might be on the way.

“We can’t predict the flu. It varies and changes every year,” Anton said.

From Oct. 1 to Feb. 9, there have been 1,162 cases of the flu recorded at Metroplex Hospital, said spokeswoman Erin Spencer, with 127 flu patients hospitalized.

Baylor Scott & White Health, which operates clinics in Killeen and elsewhere in the area, has seen 2,490 cases of the flu in a 36-county area for the month of January, according to spokesman Deke Jones.

Bell County has reported at least one death from the flu.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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