MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The flu remains widespread across much of the state, the Alabama Department of Public Health's most updated maps conclude, and the illness is "increasing".
For the first week of 2018, the state's Influenza Surveillance Map shows significant cases of the flu in most every northern and southern county while a number of central Alabama counties reported no significant cases. The exception was Jefferson County, home to the Birmingham area.
This is the fourth week in which ADPH has labeled the flu "widespread". They said there are no specific numbers regarding the increase in cases because they rely on counties and clinics to report them.
The 2018 flu season is expected to be one of the worst in years with widespread cases reported in 46 states. Making matters worse, some pharmacies are dealing with temporary shortages of flu medications, due to demand. ADPH reports there are pockets in heavily populated areas of the state that are dealing with temporary shortages of Tamiflu, but they are being replenished.
You can limit your chances of getting the flu, or giving it to someone else, by following some good health habits.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose
- Wash your hands often
- Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
ADPH encourages everyone to the get the flu shot, as it will reduce the severity of the illness and decrease the length of time you have it.