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What’s New with the Flu?

by | Jan 4, 2020

As a parent, it can be absolutely terrifying to see headlines about flu outbreaks. At the same time, we want to be aware of how flu season is impacting our schools and communities, right? You can get regular updates on how influenza is spreading throughout your community as well as the state of Alabama. Here we will link to some resources that you can check regularly, let you know what’s new with the flu, and share some information that indicates it is not too late to get flu shots for you AND your kiddos!

What is ILI and what does it measure?

As part of the CDC’s U.S. Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet), healthcare providers in Alabama report the number of patients with flu-like illnesses by age group and the total number of patients seen each week. ILI is defined as fever that is greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) AND cough and/or sore throat (in the absence of a known cause other than influenza). There is no requirement for a positive influenza test when determining the number of patients with ILI, but it is a good indicator of what’s coming our way during cold and flu season.

So what’s new with the flu and flu-like illnesses in Alabama?

  • Statewide ILI is at 4.83%, which is above the threshold of concern. Six of our eight districts have lab confirmed specimens and
    increased outpatient visits for ILI.
  • ILI activity in Northern and Jefferson Districts was below the threshold this week. However, Southeastern district has significantly surpassed the ILI threshold.
  • This simply means more patients are seeking medical attention for ILI.
  • The influenza viruses that are circulating in Alabama are all covered in the influenza vaccine. So if you want to protect yourself,
    get vaccinated! You still have time!

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