Acting State Health Officer says half way through flu season, not too late for flu shot

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Throughout this flu season, north Alabama has been one of the hardest hit areas.

Some communities in the valley, have lost lives because of the illness.

It's the same message the Alabama Department of Public Health has been sending all season long.

"It's not too late to get the flu vaccine," said Acting State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris. "We have seen some improvement n the capacity in hospitals, the emergency rooms aren't as bad as they were. However, there are still just lots of people with influenza."

The health department's surveillance map shows that, too. In north Alabama -- blanketed with dark blue -- shows areas with significant influenza activity.

"It's always hard to predict you're never going to know exactly how long the flu season is going to last, but typically we see it lasting about on average, about 16 weeks," said Dr. Harris.

Harris says we are in week 9, just barely halfway through flu season.

"Anybody with chronic health problems or with immune system compromise is going to be at risk if they get influenza," said Harris.

The message remains the same, stay home if you're sick and it's not too late to get a flu shot.