Flu strain this year causing more harm than previous years, officials say

Alabama Dept. of Health says the flu threshold has stretched past significant

Flu strain this year causing more harm than previous years, officials say

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Winter is prime peak season for influenza, and it’s rapidly contagious.

The Alabama Department of Health reports flu-like activity numbers in north Alabama are at 3.8 percent right now, compared to the normal amount which is 3.5 percent.

“It’s spread from person to person via what we call droplets, so the more time people spend indoors around each other, the more chances there are to spread from person to person," Kathryn Limbaugh, physician assistant at Huntsville Hospital Walk-In Clinic, said.

Limbaugh said physicians at the walk-in clinic have seen a high influx of flu victims in the last few weeks.

Flu symptoms can be similar to upper respiratory symptoms, however, there is a difference.

“Major symptoms for flu, fatigue, body aches, fever, and chills," Limbaugh said.

There are ways to prevent getting the flu for you and the people around you, said Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Health.

“Combined, taking the flu vaccine, washing your hands, covering your cough, staying at home when you’re sick," Landers said.

If someone in your home is already sick, both Huntsville Walk-In Clinic and the Department of Health recommend you take these precautions.

“You wanna make sure that you clean any surfaces that are shared, especially doorknobs are a big thing because people are touching them. Anything you can think of as far as that," Landers said.

The Department of Health also has one more tip for you.

“It’s never too late to get your flu shot, and that’s something we want to continue to stress," Landers said.

Again, the Department of Health and Huntsville Hospital say the flu doesn’t just affect you, it also affects everyone around you. They say to take care of yourself first and avoid spreading illness.

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