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Baylor College of Medicine News

Old acquaintance not to be forgotten

The new year signifies new beginnings, but that old flu virus from last year is still active, according to experts at Baylor College of Medicine.

"Texas saw an increase in flu activity in the latter half of December with most viruses being influenza A,"said Dr. Paul Glezen, professor of molecular virology and microbiology and pediatrics at BCM.

The flu vaccine covers all of the viruses seen so far in Texas, Glezen said. This includes the novel influenza A(H1N1) virus that caused the 2009 pandemic.

Heavy flu activity has been reported in the Southeastern United States and especially in Georgia, where influenza B has predominated. The rest of the country is mostly seeing influenza A with a predominance of influenza A/Perth (H3N2), which is covered in the vaccine, said Glezen.

"We usually have a decrease in flu activity during the holidays and it picks up as children get back to school,"said Glezen. "Unvaccinated persons should get a vaccine right away."

For more information on the influenza virus and vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.