DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Doctors at Decatur Morgan Hospital say the flu season is still in full swing and urge people to continue to stay vigilant in fighting it.
The hospital released numbers on Tuesday, saying the 2013-2014 flu season is one of the worst in recent history:
- 1,300 people came to the hospital with flu-like symptoms in December
- 235 tested positive for the flu, and most had Type A, the swine flu strain
- 4 people died in the hospital of flu-like symptoms
The hospital did not release further details about the four patients who died, including age, gender or other circumstances.
Dr. Scott Harris, the hospital’s Medical Director of Infection Control, said people are still coming in with flu-like symptoms, so we’re not out of the woods yet.
Dr. Harris said the H1N1/swine flu strain was included in this year’s batch of flu shots, and stressed this is your best protection against catching the flu. It will protect you for a full season – meaning, if you got a shot in the fall of 2013, there’s no need to get another one until next flu season.
Doctors urge you to practice good hand-washing techniques, and to keep surfaces clean, saying the flu virus can live on a surface for two to eight hours. Dr. Harris added, the flu has a two to three day incubation period, meaning you could be exposed to the flu virus today, but not develop symptoms for two to three more days.
We’ll have more coverage Tuesday on WHNT News 19 at 5:00 p.m.