There's a good chance that you or someone you know has been affected by the flu this season. The Alabama Department of Public Health is calling this virus widespread.
Doctors at Compass Providence Urgent Care have seen at least 60 patients in the last month with flu-related symptoms. Experts said its Influenza strain A that's causing the rise in cases. "We have seen just so much of it in the last four weeks," said Physician Assistant Cassandra Dufano.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports widespread flu activity in 46 states, including Alabama. Dufano said this season's flu shot is only 10% to 20% effective. She said, "I think that's some of the problem with it. Predominantly we are seeing strain A, B it's already more effective for."
The H3N2 strain A virus has stricken all age ranges and has been tough to fight. Symptoms include, "Higher fever, kind of more aches and pains, you know you're coming in 102 or 103 degrees," Dufano added.
The Mobile County Health Department reports the number of flu related cases has doubled over the same time last year from 325 to 648. According to Dufano the best way to stop the flu from spreading is washing your hands.
She said, "Putting a bubble around you and your sick friends, washing your hands, using a hand sanitizer and just being cautious and aware."
Although the flu shot is not 100% effective, Dufano said its never too late to get vaccinated because any protection helps.
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