Houston County flu numbers are second in the state

Posted by: Daniel Curtis - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - The number of H1N1 cases in Alabama is increasing every day.

The most recent numbers show Houston County has 217 confirmed cases of H1N1, which is 2nd in the state. However those numbers can be misleading.

"Those patients may reside neighboring counties," says Peggy Blakeney, Area 10 Administrator for the Houston County Health Department.

Some of those patients are travelling from all over southeast Alabama, including portions of northwest Florida and southwest Georgia; they're just choosing to receive treatment here in Houston County.

"Specimen reporting is assigned to the health care provider location not the patient's residency location," explains Blakeney.

Even though people are travelling from different areas, health officials say flu is in the community and the best prevention is still good hygiene etiquette.

"If you've got it best thing to do is stay home, don't go to work and give it to everybody at work," says Dr. Mark Shertzer.

Tips like washing your hands frequently and coughing into your elbow.

"Those very simplistic measures are our very best protection right now until a vaccine is available for administration," adds Blakeney.

Officials are expecting those vaccines to arrive in late October.

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