In spite of the rising numbers of flu patients across the state, Alabama health officials still urge the population to get the flu vaccine. On Wednesday, February 15th, Alabama health officials issued an advisory addressing flu patients and revealing what the state’s populations can do in order to protect themselves more efficiently.
Staffers and doctors altogether at the American Family Care clinic at Montgomery’s EastChase clinic are fighting off the flu with everything they got. However, since last week, the situation only got worse, says Dr. DeeDee Kidd as more patients with type A and type B influenza flooded the hospitals.
Per a report issued by the Alabama Department of Public Health, the state now ranks as the 23rd on the list of states experiencing the highest influenza-like illness activity and one of the 43 states that have reported widespread activity over the past months.
Dr. DeeDee Kidd explained that physicians start treating anyone with influenza as soon as the symptoms occur. If 48 hours pass, Dr. Kidd says the treatment has no effect on the patient and the disease starts to spread further inside the host’s body. The best way to protect oneself against the flu is to get the vaccine, stressed Alabama Department of Public Health officials, even at this stage in the flu season.
Health experts say this year’s vaccine already contains all the strains of the virus circulating across the country. Getting the flu shot improves a person’s odds of keeping the virus at bay by at least 50 percent and up to 60 percent or more, says a health officer for the state department, Dr. Karen Landers.
According to health experts, Alabama’s most of the circulating virus is type A influenza (H3) with strains already included in this year’s flu shot. Other than getting the vaccine, physicians urge the population to be especially careful of personal hygiene and practice coughing etiquette to reduce the risk of illness.
Health officials highlighted that people suffering from chronic diseases are at highest risk of potentially fatal complications and should get the flu shot as soon as possible.
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