In a proclamation, the governor confirmed that health care workers, as well as health care facilities, are becoming so overwhelmed by the number of sick patients "that care may now no longer be provided in the traditional, normal, and customary manner nor is the utilization of traditional, normal, and customary standards of care possible".
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW: When big news breaks, we send Breaking News emails. Both numbers are well below the Healthy People 2020 targets of 70 percent vaccination coverage for persons 6 months to 17 years and over 18. The week ending December 30, 2017, saw 142 confirmed flu cases, an increase of 48 percent over the previous week. Austin's emergency rooms have also seen an influx of flu patients.
"In previous flu seasons when H3N2 has been predominant, that flu season has been marked with greater severity of illness and hospitalizations especially in high-risk groups, and right now we're seeing that with steep rises in hospitalization in people who are 65 years and older", she said.
"The vaccine effectiveness is generally less for H3N2, than it is for when influenza is H1N1 or influenza B".
Dr. David Lakey, chairman of the Texas Medical Association Council on Science and Public Health, said the flu can put even the healthiest person in bed for a few days.
The youngest people to die in Travis County from flu so far this season were in their 50s.
Anton encouraged people to get flu shots if they haven't already and, if infected, to stay home and be aware.
Williamson and Hays counties each have reported more than 700 flu cases but no deaths.
It is not too late to get vaccinated this flu season. "As well, there's always a chance you will get the flu so if you don't want the flu, I'd definitely recommend getting the flu shot".
Some of the symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Remember the four "C" s: Clean your hands, Cover your cough, Contain germs by avoiding others when you're sick, and Call your doctor if you experience a high-grade fever.