Flu Season Spikes in Lee County

Coughing, body aches, headaches and a fever.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you most likely have the dreaded flu.

Alabama seeing high flu activity and hitting even earlier than expected.

“Usually flu peaks late January early February, but to see widespread flu in the entire country, at this time, it’s concerning and we want to make sure people are doing what they are supposed to be doing to stay well,” said Director of Infectious Control at EAMC Brooke Bailey.

Around 10 people already hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center and more at the emergency room with flu like symptoms.

“We are seeing more cases, however, when flu season starts, regardless of what number of cases we have, we have our cough stations, we encourage flu vaccinations for our employees and patients so, regardless of what we see we implement the same precautions,” said Bailey.

Reports say the flu vaccine is only 10% effective against this year’s dominant strain of the virus.

But, Bailey said it’s better to be protected.

“With the vaccine, even if you do get the flu, most cases are less severe because of the vaccination. So, what do we say, vaccination is important. It decreases complications related to the flu and complications related to the flu,” said Bailey.

There is a test for the flu, but Bailey said it’s not 100% effective. If you get tested for the flu and it’s negative that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the flu. They call that an influenza like illness. So, even if it’s negative, follow the same recommendations from your doctor regarding the flu and stay home.

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