HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's the season of giving and according to the most recent report from the Alabama Department of Public Health and The Center For Disease Control Alabamians are giving each other the flu.
Statewide influenza-like illness is at 5.66%, which means the flu is actively circulating. According to the report, one in 18 individuals are visiting their doctor for a flu-like illness.
And significant flu activity has been reported throughout all North Alabama counties.
The good news is no pediatric deaths have been reported throughout the state this season but, there have been thirteen outbreaks and more influenza and flu-like outbreaks are being reported.
According to the Center For Disease Control Flu Symptoms include:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea
- this is more common in children than adults
The health department says parents who notice their child is having flu-like symptoms should keep their kids at home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g., Tylenol, Motrin, etc.).
And they say there are also a variety of respiratory illnesses that are similar to influenza, that is why they say it is important to wash your hands frequently and stay at home if you become ill.
Dr. Sunitha Ghanta with Whitesburg Family Medicine in Huntsville says everyone should be extra cautious, she recommends washing hands with anti-bacterial soap, covering your cough, staying home when you have flu-like symptoms and drinking lots of water.
She also says it's a good idea to get the flu shot "Flu shot every year depending on exposure. Definitely elderly people about 65 and pregnant females, it's important to get the flu shot."
Dr. Ghanta recommends those experiencing these symptoms make an appointment with their doctor.
Your doctor may not want you to come directly into the office without a mask or they may have you wait in your car, that way you don't infect others. But, they will most likely want you to come in.