SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has confirmed there have been twelve flu-related deaths in Bexar County for the 2012-2013 season.
Two of the deaths were pediatric patients, and Metro Health says many of the deaths occurred in individuals with underlying medical conditions.
Influenza-like illnesses are decreasing nationally and in the San Antonio area. Metro Health officials say Influenza A has been the more prevalent strain for the third consecutive week, but Influenza B continues to be substantial.
"When you compare last year to this year, this year is more severe," said Anil Mangla, Chief of Epidemiology at San Antonio Metro Health.
Despite the number of lives lost said it is not an unusual flu season.
"The deaths range from 7 to 15. So, this is kinda of that range," Mangla told us.
Mangla and others keep track of the flu statewide. It helps authorities decide what types of vaccine will be needed and when to start public awareness messages about getting a flu shot.
"When you get the flu, it's almost like they say a truck hit you. You going get all the symptoms at once," explained Mangla. "With this flu, it's going to hit hard. It's going to hit at once."
Flu symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and a runny nose. Flu season is far from over--it ends in May. So, Mangla urges people to take precautions.
He suggests washing your hands often, sanitizing surfaces you and others share, and getting a flu shot if possible, Also, teach children to cover their mouths and nose when sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of germs.CLICK HERE
to go to the SA Metro Health website.