Influenza season had already shifted into high gear through the Killeen and Temple, Texas area at full speed before the holiday gatherings, but immediately following those get togethers is when infection season can often find overdrive. Bell County's Public Health epidemiologist Costa Claver said that current influenza cases are well above the normal numbers, and possibly even surpassing previous record levels for Central Texas.

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Besides the flu, what should Central Texas residents be careful to avoid?

Claver said that it is not just the flu numbers to be cautious because with several other infections happening, Bell County is currently experiencing an,

"Epi-hot season."

Why are food-borne illnesses and also STDs spiking right now in Central Texas?

As mentioned before, the holidays are overloaded with close contact at large family gatherings and office parties, so they serve as mini super spreader events for all kinds of illnesses. Additionally, this time of year is also what's known as "cuffing season."

Is cuffing season to blame for the spike in STD spreading through Central Texas?

This one probably doesn't require a lot of scientific research for many to theorize that the time of the year known for finding a new romantic partner could also be causing new STD infections to spread in a relatively short period of time.

You can learn more about the current "Epi-hot season," ravaging through Bell County and Central Texas, plus how you can best avoid getting sick in this KCEN article.

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