Flu cases on the rise

Published 6:26 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

On certain days, it feels like spring outside, but the warmer weather hasn’t helped quell the spread of the flu in Alabama.

According to the latest report from the Alabama Department of Public Health, the flu is widespread in the state. Four weeks in a row the ADPH has seen an increase in the number of patients visiting their doctor with flu-like symptoms.

During the current flu season, a total of 15 people have died in Alabama, including one pediatric patient.

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At some point, the flu will be gone for the current season. Usually when the weather warms up, the flu is gone, but we haven’t quite made it to spring yet.

Thankfully, the flu is not as bad as it was last year, but it’s still running rampant. In January, some North Alabama schools closed because of the flu.

There are many ways to protect yourself from the flu.

The easiest way is to get vaccinated by getting a flu shot. The CDC has estimated this year’s vaccine’s effectiveness is 47 percent, which gives you nearly a 50/50 chance to avoid the illness.

The effectiveness also depends on age.

It appears to be working better for children up to 17 and not as well for adults over 50. Even though it’s February, you can still get the shot.

It’s also important to do your part to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently and if you’re sick, stay home.

The flu can be extremely dangerous, especially for younger and elderly patients.

Let’s hope flu season ends soon, but for now, do your part to avoid the spread of germs.