Local health experts weigh in on Alabama flu season - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Local health experts weigh in on Alabama flu season

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Parts of Alabama are finding this flu season tough to take. A map provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health makes it easy to see where the outbreak of flu is greatest. The counties of Bibb, Fayette, Green, Lamar, Pickens and Tuscaloosa all have significant flu activity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Alabama and Louisiana with "moderate" influenza like illness. Mississippi and Texas are the only two states with "high" flu like illness.

"Last year early October we were seeing cases and again this year mid November we started to see the cases and all pop up," said doctor Beth Hughes with Baptist Health Center in Hoover.

She says in the past, flu season lasted for about a few months out of each year.

"But starting several years ago we stared seeing for several months during the year."

The CDC shows an uptick in the number of flu cases nationwide over the last week. Alabama is among the top four states with the highest reported number of cases. However, some counties are not seeing a many cases as others.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the geographic spread of flu-like illness in the state is regional. West central and south west counties in the state have been hit hardest. While Jefferson and Shelby Counties are not among those.

Doctor Hughes says cases are starting to pop up in her office.

"About two or three weeks ago was when out first reported case came in and we've probably had two or three a week right now so it's not real busy yet but we are starting to see it some," said Hughes.

Hughes says not all flu-like symptoms indicate a person actually has the flu.

"The big thing you will see is the fever. Most people will run a temp of 104 105 or even higher so that probably the first key off when I see a patient come into the office. You know body aches all over. They feel like they've been hit by a truck almost is what a lot of them will tell you," said Hughes.

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