The number of flu cases in Alabama is on the rise

15 January, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Inez Murphy
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports influenza activity has spread to 46 USA states.

Travis County is no exception to a nationwide rise in flu cases this year, according to a news release from Central Health on January 12. "From a public health point of view it is very hard to contain flu", Dr. Bettina Fries, from Stony Brook University Hospital, told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports widespread flu in many states, including IL, and some European countries also are experiencing unusually high case numbers.

Sentara family medicine and internal medicine practices have the vaccines for $75 out of pocket, but individuals without insurance can get the shot for $37.50, according to Sentara spokeswoman Kelsea Smith.

Besides a vaccination, health officials say covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick and washing hands frequently will help to prevent the spread of the flu.

Headaches, fevers, muscle aches, sore throats, coughs, runny noses and sneezing are all signs of the viral infection.

Most of those hospitalized are older than 65 or between 50 and 64 years old, and children younger than five.

"Flu is everywhere in the USA right now", Jernigan said.

Health professionals say one reason for the spike in cases may be that year's flu vaccine was not as effective as in other years.

You DON'T want to avoid getting the flu shot just because you think it won't work. The flu season typically lasts from October through May. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be significantly reduced.

Dr. Michael Chen, a physician at The Portland Clinic in Tigard, tells FOX 12 more people are sick and have gotten the virus earlier than in years past.

There are a lot of other illnesses going around and Quinlisk offers some advice to know if you might have the flu.

H3N2 is one of the strains contained in this year's flu vaccine along with two or three others, depending on the vaccine.

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