State Health Officer: Flu season could last until March - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

State Health Officer: Flu season could last until March

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

Don't be fooled by a slight drop in reports of flu in Alabama. State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson says the number of flu cases remain high.

"This year flu season really began to take off in November. It remained high in December and it remains about historic levels now," Williamson said.

Williamson says that even with the early outbreak the numbers are not out of line with other busy outbreaks in previous years.

"In 2011 we had over 900 deaths due to influenza and pneumonia if you look at 2012 we are not seeing an increase in influenza and pneumonia deaths," Williamson said.

The Alabama Public Health Department released a chart Friday showing a slight decrease but Williamson says don't take those numbers to heart. The State Health Officer says the flu season may drag out until March and that's why he urges residents to continue to get flu shots.

"It's not too late to be vaccinated. The the appropriate precautions first. Get vaccinated, hand washing and hand washing. It's the single most important thing short of vaccinations we can do," Williamson said.

The state has a reserve supply of vaccines which will cover the most common influenza A. Williamson says there may be spot outages of Tamaflu.

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