It’s the Peak of Flu Season-Alabama Near Record Levels of Cases Reported

With the new year, comes new year’s resolutions. But, what’s also peeking around the corner ready for the new year as well is the flu. We are right in the peak of flu season and if you haven’t already been vaccinated now is the time.

If you are coughing, have body aches, headaches and a fever, you might have the flu. And, you’re not alone.

“Usually peaks after the holidays, the first of January in most areas of the country and here in East Alabama,” said Brooke Bailey, Director of Infection Prevention at East Alabama Medical Center.

Despite warmer weather lately, remember, the six month flu season lasts from October through March.

Flu season in East Alabama this year is already near record levels. Alabama is almost at the highest level of flu incidents reported to the Centers for Disease Control.

“We’ve got about 60-70 cases that we’ve seen this month most of these people coming through our emergency room and some hospital admissions. But, I can tell you in the community, we’ve seen a lot more,” said Bailey.

And, if you don’t want to become one of those statistics, get a flu shot.

“The minimal pain from an injection is far preferable to you know severe flu illness. Certainly the flu vaccine not only prevents you from getting the flu, but prevents severe flu illness and hospitalization and in some severe cases death,” said Dr. Brooke Haynes, East Alabama Medical Center Pediatrician.

Of course, whatever you do to protect yourself, make sure your kids do it, too. Children and older folks face more risk from the influenza virus.

“Start teaching your children good hand washing techniques before snacks and meals can make a big difference. Teaching your child to cover their mouth when they cough and uses tissues to wipe their noses,”said Dr. Haynes.

Also, if you or your child is experiencing flu like symptoms, stay home, get better and wait 24 hours until your fever breaks because you don’t want to get your office or your child’s school upset if you are the culprit that gave everyone the flu.

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