Flu cases rising in north Alabama

Updated: Dec. 31, 2019 at 6:37 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you don’t want to ring in the new year with the flu, listen up.

Alabama is reporting some of the highest numbers of flu cases, and the numbers are growing.

“We’re one of the 25 states where we are in the high risk numbers now,” Dr. Thomas Calvert, Huntsville Hospital said.

Calvert says cases keep popping up.

“We are now seeing a significant increase in influenza cases, last week we had over 60 cases."

Calvert says children are mostly coming down with influenza a. “That’s your typical running nose, cough cold, sneezing, aches, pains, lethargy and a fever.”

But adults are getting another strain, influenza b, with even more symptoms, “more nausea, vomiting and maybe diarrhea.”

Dr. David Traynor, an internal medicine doctor, says if you are getting any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.

“We have anti viral medications that work and they can help limit the duration of symptoms, but they only work within the first 48 hours. Because the goal of those antivirals is to stop the virus from replicating. If you have flu symptoms and come in on day four, five or six well the virus is already replicated and then all we can basically do is systematic treatment,” Traynor said.

And the people most at risk for getting the flu: children and people over the age of 65.

Ted Paludan, who will celebrate his 89th birthday next month, says he isn’t taking any chances.

“We have not gotten the flu since we started getting the flu shots. There’s also a rumor going around about the danger of vaccines, the anti vacs movement. Totally unscientific of course But people are buying into it.

Calvert agrees, “despite those people that say immunization is of no value. They’re absolutely wrong. Immunization provides value. It’s not a perfect treatment to prevent influenza, but it is a good shield.”

In addition to getting a flu shot, Calvert says to wash your hands regularly and often and avoid being around sick people.

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