Flu Activity on the Rise in Alabama
Alabama is among the states that are reporting a high level of flu activity this year, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Along with six other states, including Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, Alabama is experiencing a significant increase in flu-like illnesses (ILI).
Louisiana stands out with the highest activity of influenza-like illnesses, while Alabama is also witnessing a surge in ILI cases. According to recent data, flu-like illnesses accounted for 2.86% of emergency department visits in Alabama last week, showing a slight increase of less than 1% compared to the previous month.
In addition to the rising number of flu cases, emergency department visits for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) have also increased, reaching 1.27%. Conversely, emergency department visits related to COVID-19 have declined to just under 1% in Alabama.
This year, the winter flu season seems to be peaking earlier than usual, with an increase in cases observed in November, whereas it typically peaks in December or January.
Nationwide, the CDC has reported alarming figures, with at least 780,000 flu illnesses, 8,000 hospitalizations, and 490 flu-related deaths, tragically including one child.
To combat the flu, the CDC strongly recommends that everyone aged 6 months and older receive their annual flu vaccine. While no specific vaccine is recommended for individuals younger than 65, those aged 65 and older are advised to opt for one of three higher-dose vaccines.
The best time to get vaccinated against the flu is September and October, with the end of October serving as an ideal deadline for completion. However, it is never too late to receive the vaccine, as flu cases can circulate until May.
It is essential to note that it takes approximately two weeks for the body to develop antibodies after vaccination, highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
In light of the increasing flu activity in Alabama and across the nation, it is crucial for individuals to prioritize their health and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Getting vaccinated is a significant step towards safeguarding oneself and the broader community from the flu’s potentially severe consequences.
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