Flu activity increases across Alabama

Published 2:03 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

It is flu season in Chilton County and, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there has been increased flu activity this year.

Residents are encouraged to get their annual flu vaccination as a form of prevention against the symptoms of influenza, which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

“This increased rate of flu activity is concerning because influenza can be a serious disease for anyone, including children, pregnant women, and previously healthy young adults,” said Dr. Burnestine Taylor, medical officer for Disease Control and Prevention for the ADPH. “It’s not too late to get a flu shot to protect against this serious disease. People become protected about two weeks after receiving the vaccine.”

Chilton Urgent Care is one of several locations that have flu shots in stock and available for the public.

Ginny Hughes, Chilton Urgent Care office manager, has seen cases in Chilton County increase drastically over the past couple of weeks.

Flu season typically begins in October and lasts through the winter months.

“Our doors have been slammed,” Hughes said.

An extra provider and staff members have been added to help combat the influx of patients.

Inventory is also being watched very closely, so that the vaccines and medicine used to fight the flu continues to match the current needs.

Hughes reminded people that getting a flu shot is not a guarantee, because there are several strands of flu. However, it improves the possibility of resisting the flu and can cut down the recovery time.

An example of a shortened recovery time due to a flu shot would be only having the flu for a couple of days compared to a week.

The elderly and young children are the most susceptible to the flu, but the ADPH recommends that everyone 6 months or older get vaccinated.