Alabama sees uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

WAFF 48's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:47 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 12:00 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Hospitals across the U.S. are reporting a rise in COVID-19 cases and the Center for Disease Control is tracking new cases here in North Alabama. Huntsville Hospital Infection Disease Dr. Ali Hassoun says many people are mistakenly calling it the ‘summer flu.’

The flu and COVID-19 have similar respiratory symptoms like fever, stuffy nose and a cough.

The main difference is how long it stays in your system. The flu stays in your system for up to four days on average. COVID-19 can last up to 14 days and you can get it multiple times a year.

Dr. Hassoun says either way, its important to get tested.

“ If you experience any upper respiratory tract symptoms you’re going to need to know what sort of infection you have in order to be better,” says Dr. Hassoun. “Because there are some of these infections have treatments that you can treat it and take care of it.”

Dr. Hassoun says while there is an uptick in cases, he doesn’t consider this a ‘surge’ in cases because this variant is not as severe as past variants. It’s possible but unlikely for people to be hospitalized or contract pneumonia.

There is one major concern from the American Medical Association: repeated infections. Doctors with the organization say repeated infections increase your risk of developing chronic health issues like kidney disease, organ failure and Diabetes.

WAFF 48's Megan Plotka reporting

“If you’re in a closed room and you think there are going to be some people who are infected or the high likelihood of it you better mask up or keep that physical distance,” says Dr. Hassoun. “The prevention has not changed, it’s exactly the same thing”

He says early testing and treatment go a long way to avoid long-term issues.

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