The Centers for Disease Control said the flu virus is now considered widespread across Alabama and nine other states. The virus is not expected to hit its peak for at least a month.
State health officials said they are tracking the flu virus as it hits Alabama, and over the past few weeks the virus has moved from South Alabama to the northern part of the state. The Madison County Health Department is encouraging everyone – not just the young or elderly – to get a flu shot.
Health officials said this year they have seen a major increase in cases of H1N1, or Swine Flu, compared to 2011 and 2012. They encourage everyone to remember some simple tips to avoid spreading the virus:
Many doctors' offices in the Huntsville area said Monday they were overwhelmed. Many reported seeing a huge upswing in flu-like symptoms over the last few days. American Family Care in Hampton Cove said they are seeing more patients by the hour.
"It's extremely busy. We open up at 7:45 each morning. There's normally a line of 10-15 patients," said Derrick Kenner.
"We are moving at breakneck speed. People are coming in with a fever, headache, aching all over," added Dr. Edwin Gray.
Heading into flu season, experts recommend getting a flu shot and it is still not too late to do it, but be warned - it takes time for the shot to impact your immunity. Officials said the shot takes around two weeks for the body to reach full immunity.
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