The Alabama Department of Public Health says the state is already experiencing "significant" H1N1 influenza activity and the state isn't alone. The ADPH says influenza activity is also already high in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
The state says reports from its network of providers who report influenza-like illness and send sample for testing indicate the geographic spread of influenza in Alabama is widespread for the third week in a row.
Influenza type A, H1N1 (also known as 2009 H1N1, the pandemic strain, or pH1N1) has been the predominant strain circulating virus so far this season. One characteristic of pH1N1 is that, similar to the pandemic of 2009, young and middle-aged adults seem to have a greater chance of severe influenza.
Flu is a very contagious respiratory illness. Some of the symptoms of influenza can be fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Influenza can be a serious disease for anyone, even children, pregnant women and previously healthy young adults.
ADPH officials recommend an annual
influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older and report that there are no shortages of the vaccine this year.
You can also protect against the spread of the virus by staying at home when sick, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.
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