Recent spike in flu cases

Published 10:19 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

Chilton County and Alabama have seen a spike in flu cases in recent days.

Chilton Medical Center confirms that their lab has had 20 positive cases for the flu this week. CMC’s emergency department has also seen an increase in patients with flu-like symptoms.

Angela Batchelor, CMC’s clinical care coordinator, said local doctors are also seeing more flu cases and that the CDC reports an increase in activity last week in the region that includes Alabama and Georgia.

Signs of flu include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fever (not a symptom in everyone), headache, muscle or body aches and tiredness.

Flu can be transported person to person by coughing and sneezing, or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

To that end, frequent hand washing is a key way to prevent the spread of influenza. Batchelor says sick people should also stay at home, away from work or school. Those sick should also try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, which should be thrown away after one use. If tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

Those who think they might have the flu should drink plenty of fluids, take over the counter medications to help alleviate symptoms, get plenty of rest and call your doctor if symptoms worsen.

To help stop the flu from spreading, CMC is implementing a few new prevention measures.

The hospital is asking anyone sick not to visit the hospital unless it is for treatment or medical care. If someone is sick and visiting the hospital for reasons other than treatment, that person will be asked to wear a mask while in the hospital.

Also, until the number of cases decrease, children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to visit unless it is for treatment or medical care.

All individuals entering the hospital will be asked to use provided hand sanitizer to help kill germs.