Jefferson Co. Health Dept. discusses flu season

Early flu season

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Even though flu season has not yet begun, there are already some reported cases.

The Jefferson County Health Department says they can’t speculate on projections for the year. While flu is not a notifiable disease, the department has seen some cases in the county, but nothing to indicate an outbreak. It’s also nothing out of the norm for this time of year.

One urgent care though, that operates statewide, says flu numbers since August are higher.

“We’ve seen close to one hundred cases of flu in our clinics. Compared to last year at the same time period we saw only forty-two cases,” said Betsy Stewart, with MainStreet Family Urgent Care.

Stewart added the company has opened a few more clinics in the past year around the state, but these numbers still seem high.

“We do see that as a significant increase,”said Stewart.

What that means for the flu season, we’ll find out in the coming months.

You do need to take steps now to protect yourself.

“One of the best ways to prevent flu and flu out breaks is with vaccinations. And it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated but, especially kids under 5 and adults over 65,” said Bryan Combs with UAB’s School of Nursing.

If you do find yourself around someone with the flu, be sure you’re taking added precautions.

“Basic health. Washing your hands, covering your mouth or your nose. When you’re sneezing and coughing, coughing into your elbow,” said Stewart.

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