Harris County health officials give recommendations to stay vigilant during upcoming holidays

ByKaren Alvarez KTRK logo
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Harris County Public Heath warns over potential spike over holidays
Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated ahead of holiday celebrations.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- As the holidays draw near, Harris County Public Health says that COVID-19 cases could potentially spike, and it is not the time to let your guard down.

"Coming into the holidays, a lot more people have gatherings and get-togethers indoors and there's very little appetite to wear a mask now so were hoping we don't see another spike up in infections," Dr. Jason Knight, chief medical officer at Houston Methodist in the Woodlands, said.

RELATED: Flu surges in at least 17 states as respiratory virus activity continues to ramp up across US

Doctors say the best protection against the flu or COVID-19 is the vaccine.

"Aside from that, we're recommending people strategically mask in crowded settings. It's a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water," Dr. Luis Ostrosky with Memorial Hermann, said.

Recent Harris County public health numbers show there are currently a little over 1,400 active COVID cases.

Even though, at last check, the COVID tracker shows 'low' community spread, health officials say that could change, and doctors warn the flu could have a big impact.

"Interestingly enough, we saw a huge increase, or a huge spike, in all respiratory infections," Knight says.

Nationwide, the CDC says there's been at least 4.4 million illnesses and 38,000 hospitalizations from flu.

RELATED: Harris Co. health officials urge people to get flu shot after seeing higher number of cases

While no flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported in Harris County, doctors continue to stress the importance of vaccinating.

"Those work really well in avoiding complications and going to the hospital," Ostrosky said.