Aggressive flu season expected in the Borderland
Thousands have been hospitalized nationwide as flu season arrives early
The flu season typically begins at the end of January, but this year increasing cases of the virus have been reported since October and El Paso is no exception.
Fernando Gonzalez, an epidemiologist with the El Paso Department of Health said the rise cases have been reported by health care providers in the last two weeks.
"The most affected age groups are children starting at one year to young people up to nineteen years old," said Gonzalez.
With students back in class after winter break, Gonzalez added the reported cases of the flu are just beginning.
"We are expecting a peak in the incidents. This is because people are gathered in classrooms and have common activities. Flu transmission is air borne, person to person," said Gonzalez.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, every year about 200,000 people are affected.
In order to protect yourself, health officials encourage everyone to get vaccinated.
"Whoever gets the vaccine will have almost 100% protection against the viruses that are present in our environment," said Gonzalez.
Symtoms of the flu include fever,vomiting, fatigue, cough, sore throat, body aches, nausea or diarrhea.
Gonzalez said it is recommended to stay home if one is fighting the flu, to further spread the virus.
Copyright 2012 KVIA. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.