MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Friday issued an alert of increased influenza (flu) activity across the state.
A media release from the ADPH reminds the public that the flu is a very contagious respiratory illness, with symptoms including 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.
The ADPH suggests that everyone 6 months and older receive the "quadrivalent vaccine," the flu vaccine that protects against four influenza strains, because one of the strains in circulation in Alabama (Type B/Yamagata) is only included in the quadrivalent vaccine.
In addition to taking the flu vaccine, it says, other measures can reduce or prevent the spread of influenza. These include staying at home when sick, covering the mouth and nose with a tissue/cloth when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.
“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," said Taylor.
The ADPH will be conducting a statewide flu vaccine awareness campaign “Start 2018 Off on the Right Foot” beginning in January to educate the public and remind everyone it is not too late to get the flu vaccine.
For more information contact the Immunization Division of the ADPH at 334- 206-5023 or toll free at 800-469-4599, and visit www.alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization for updated influenza activity information.
Copyright 2017 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image: Getty