Health Agency Investigating 11 Flu Cases in Ozark, One in Mobile

MONTGOMERY, Ala. --  State health officials are investigating eleven early season flu cases in Ozark to determine if the outbreak is connected to a nearby military base.

State Health Officer Don Williamson said the 11 Ozark cases are of the influenza AH1N1 strain and investigators are also looking into one case of the influenza B virus in Mobile.

State epidemiologist Chris Sellers said a link has not been established between the Fort Rucker military base and the cases, a number of which were reported in children.

He said the cases were confirmed through lab tests and samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further analysis.

Sellers said there is no shortage of the flu vaccine, which typically protects against one type of influenza B virus and influenza A viruses H1N1 and H3N2.

He said the vaccine is recreated each year and distributed to states in doses.

Sellers said the flu season generally runs between October and May, but it's impossible to determine exactly when confirmed cases will start occurring year-to-year.

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