Health officials are urging Alabama residents to get the flu shot as flu cases are on the rise.
Across the country, flu season is beginning to peak and is widespread in a whopping 43 states, including the Yellowhammer State. With more than 14,000 cases reported nationwide each week, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is reminding Alabamians that influenza vaccine is the most important preventive measure against the flu.
Flu symptoms include:
- 100.1 degree Fahrenheit or higher fever
- Cough and/or sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
The ADPH said Thursday the state is experiencing a spike in influenza-like illnesses this winter, and that vaccines can lower the chances of catching the flu by more than 60 percent. Immunity usually follows roughly 7 to 10 days after immunization.
“It is not too late to vaccinate for flu and reduce the risk of illness,” said Dr. Karen Landers of the ADPH. “In addition, it is important that people wash hands, cover coughs, and stay home when they have influenza-like illnesses.”
On average each year, flu kills 36,000 and hospitalizes 200,000 in the U.S.