The Flu Nearly Reached Epidemic Levels This Season

Kenny Tucker
January 12, 2018

"At this moment, they are coming in just as quick as they were in December when flu season hit full swing", said Eric Schneider, epidemiologist with the Hays County health department, which had seen only 30 cases of the flu at this time past year.

There have been 11,515 cases of influenza reported this season, with 2,455 reported between December 31, 2017 and January 6, 2018. So far this season, there have been 1029 lab-confirmed cases.

"With the increase in influenza impacting many communities across the entire state, it is important to get a flu shot now if you have not done so already", said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

Insights ought not to be extrapolated from year-to-date flu data.

"If you're at high risk or have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, can not drink fluids, or have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough, seek emergency medical care immediately", Dr. Christ said.

Both hospitals are reporting cases from in-patient hospital and emergency room visits but not from their urgent care or clinics.

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Beginning next week, St. Peter's Health will be implementing flu restrictions at their facilities to help prevent the spread of the virus in the community.

Since flu season started - October 1 - the rate of hospitalizations has been 13.7 per 100,000 people in the U.S. The highest hospitalization rates are among people 65 and older (56.6 per 100,000), followed by adults 50-64 (15.4 per 100,000) and children younger than 5 (9.9 per 100,000), the CDC reported.

"Alabama is experiencing widespread influenza (flu) activity, and hospitals are at or over normal patient capacity due in large part to the number of patients presenting with seasonal influenza-like symptoms", ADPH said. Through small droplets from people who are talking, coughing or sneezing. Give your body time to recover and to protect your colleagues from getting sick.

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects.

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