More Flu Cases in the Wiregrass Raises Concerns

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DOTHAN, AL--The flu tally grows as more and more patients walk in for treatment at AllSouth Urgent Care.

"Very busy, very busy, we've had 100 cases a day of flu," said Dr. Rick Weber.

Dr. Weber says the numbers prove there's a big flu epidemic in the Wiregrass.

"They're on par with the swine flu episode of three to four years ago," said Dr. Weber.

Health officials say there's a common strain of the virus showing up in patients.

"The most reports are coming from the A strain," said Pam Williams with the Houston County Health Dept.

Although the current vaccine covers the A strain, "we've had a lot of people who had the flu shot that got the flu," said Dr. Weber.

However, health officials say that doesn't mean the current vaccine isn't working.
They say patients need to be aware of the window period.

"It takes about two weeks for it to do what it needs to do to protect you, so there is a possibility that you may have already gotten the strain," said Williams.

Dr. Weber says this year the flu seems to be weaker in some cases where some people have the virus and don't even know it.

"We've had people with just a little stomach pain and they tested positive for the flu and others had the full blown headache fever nausea aching all over," said Dr. Weber.

Preventing yourself from getting the flu is simple.
First doctors say get the flu vaccine. Secondly try to stay away from anyone who may be sick and third of all, always wash your hands.

Dr. Weber says if you continue to have a severe cough and fever after treatment you should check back with your doctor because you could develop post flu pneumonia.

If you haven't gotten a flu vaccine yet, you can contact your local health department to find out if you need to set an appointment or if they take walk-ins.
Vaccine are usually 5 dollars.

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