BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - If you think flu season is heading out, think again. Experts say eight percent of all people in Alabama reported flu like symptoms to their doctor this week.
With that number expected to grow, some folks may be wondering if it’s too late to get a flu shot. The quick answer to that question - no.
At UAB, an associate dean in the School of Medicine said flu numbers are continuing to go up. “We are seeing a surge in influenza over the last couple of weeks. Virtually every county in the state has some cases of flu,” said Dr. William Curry.
Dr. Curry said the good news is it looks like the Centers for Disease Control got the vaccine right this year. With the four strains of flu in the vaccine, three have been seen across the state.
But some people are still not taking the vaccine. Dr. Curry said this could play a factor in the spread of disease. “If 20 to 30 percent of the people who ought to be getting it don’t get it, that increases the carriage rate of the disease,” Curry said.
Dr. Curry said flu season has yet to peak. So people can still get the shots and that could make a big difference. “So there may be some people who get the vaccine who still may get infected with the flu for whatever their immune reasons may be. But, typically even if they do, the intensity of their symptoms may be less you won’t be as sick,” Curry said.
In Alabama, the Public Health Department is reporting 15 deaths from flu like symptoms, including one infant.
Dr. Curry said we have about six weeks of flu season to go as cases are expected to continue through the end of March.