MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - "We don't have an epidemic per se, but the numbers are picking up. We have seen quite a few increase in numbers seen in our emergency room and those tested positive last week," Val Sparks, Infection Preventionist at Midland Memorial Hospital said.
This week Midland Memorial's emergency room has had an additional 54 Flu As and 4 Flu Bs.
People with influenza-like illnesses are making their way to the hospital to get tested.
Sparks said the biggest thing to protect you each year is the flu shot.
"I do believe a yearly flu vaccine protects in addition, you need good hand hygiene," Sparks said.
Good hygiene includes your traditional soap and water or an alcohol-based foam or gel hand sanitizer.
Covering your cough and sneezes with a tissue or into the corner of your elbow also prevents the flu from spreading, but there's even some steps you can take at home or work for prevention.
"The high touch areas, whether its the phones, the door knobs, the bathroom areas, the counter tops, light switches things that a lot of people touch," Sparks said. "You need to clean those, especially during cold and flu season."
Another big tip stay at home if you are running a fever.
You have to stay at home at least for 24 hours until after your fever breaks.
Sparks tells us there is a number of factors that play into more people getting the flu.
"You know the weather's been crazy," Sparks said. "We've had the holidays, people are indoors more. We usually see it after the holidays, this is a little later than normal."
Midland Memorial is working closely with the local health department to get the word out on preventing the flu.