North Alabama seeing an increase in flu-related illnesses

North Alabama seeing an increase in flu-related illnesses

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Every county in north Alabama is highlighted as showing an increase in flu-related illnesses in the weekly report from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The increase in cases were reported within the last three weeks.

Dr. Karen Landers, medical officer with ADPH, says the early activity should serve as reminder to get vaccinated and stay vigilant. Those most at risk of attracting the flu are the young, elderly and those with a compromised immune system.

“We see influenza like activity throughout the year," said Landers. "Although, we tend to see more influenza activity in the fall and winter seasons.”

While confirmed flu cases are still low, the time to act is now.

The best way to protect yourself, according to the CDC, is to get vaccinated. Landers adds washing your hands, sanitizing countertops and shared spaces as well as staying home if you’re sick are other ways to prevent spreading the virus.

“When in doubt it’s important to check it out," said Dr. Marcia Mierez, a doctor osteopathic medicine with Urgent Team of Madison. "If it’s lasting and it’s really dragging you down, you’re really feeling like you’re having a tough time getting through your day - it’s important to get that looked at because it may very well be the flu.”

Mierez added that all urgent team locations across north Alabama provide flu shots daily. Typical with most clinics, flu shots are provided to those without insurance at a discounted rate. Patients with insurance are often covered.

Wednesday, Oct. 9, the Madison County Public Health Department and Madison County Commission will host a free flu shot clinic at the district one office.

The health department staff will provide information and administer vaccinations from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The office is located at 9457 Moores Mill Rd. in New Market.

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